I am alone again, and realizing that I don’t do alone very well.
I am struggling to pray or write, to find the good. My mind is foggy for all the silence that stretches out before me this week. Any focus I manage to muster is soft and my generosity is exceedingly thin.
There have been days and weeks in recent memory where I begged God for some solitude, a little respite from the needs and noise of others. Please, just a few quiet moments to gather my thoughts and be alone for a short while.
The issue for me today is not the lack of human companionship. Truth be told, I’ve not been doing very well when people are present, either.
I am not lonely in the least. I like solitude and deep quiet.
But my unsettled and cagey spirit realizes today, for the umpteenth time in my life, that I have been alone for too long.
Being alone is a heart decision.
Being alone is rather different from being lonely. I can choose to be alone, queen of my own island, no matter what teeming ocean or trickling stream I am placed in during any season of life.
Living out days alone isn’t instantly solved by introducing other interesting people, just as finding rest and peace won’t be attained simply by removing them.
Our hearts are too deep, too alive for that.
Significant others, or the lack thereof, are not the ultimate contributor to my aloneness. Neither can husbands, children or friends ever be the ultimate solution to my sustained joy and purpose.
So, how do I know if I am alone, or just lonely today?
1. How many times in the last week have you said you were sorry? If it’s been awhile since you sincerely admitted you were wrong, you are probably tired and feeling alone.
2. When was the last time you read your Bible or gathered with other struggling sinners in a church? If it’s been a while, you are probably feeling overwhelmed or bitter with life and you are quite alone.
3. Are you upset with more than one person right now? Multiple conflicts with various individuals is a sure sign of being very alone.
4. What do you spend most of your time talking about? If the bulk of your conversation is about the failings or dislike of another (including yourself), you are quite alone.
During his thirty-three years on earth, God’s own son was often lonely. But we also know that Jesus Christ was also the only person who never chose to be apart (alone) from God. He did not sin, didn’t want to be alone, or on his own island. He was always in step with his heavenly father and God’s spirit, doing God’s will on earth just as it was being done in heaven.
Sin is just another way of saying “I want to be alone and queen of my own island.” But reigning over my own kingdom absolutely hardens my heart. A hard heart is so unbecoming and ugly, I can testify first hand. But, this does not have to be a permanent condition, lucky for me!
“Wherever your treasure is, Kim, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Matthew 6:21)
My treasure is not found on my own island. It is found only in the one who made me, who gives me breath, who repeatedly melts my heart of stone, and whose spirit sustains me to do his will on earth, even as it is being done in heaven.
Grace and peace to you if you are alone or lonely today.