I spend a lot of my time feeling pretty lonely. This is no one's fault but my own.
I'm the kind of person who does enjoy his alone time. I keep myself busy doing my own thing. But usually it's my own thing around my apartment. More often than not, I will spend a day off work inside my apartment, not even leaving long enough to go downstairs to check my mailbox. Generally, I tell myself, What's the point? It's probably just junk anyway.
I make excuses for myself. I'm not outgoing. I'm an introvert. I'm not very good when it comes to making new friends. It's a cop out. I'm better at making new friends than I give myself credit for. I kid myself into believing that I'm bad at meeting new people and eventually that lie becomes the truth. And so I maneuver myself into situations where I have no choice but to be alone.
And then I sit in my apartment and feel sorry for myself. The pity party doesn't happen often, but it does happen. It usually consists of a short bout of depression followed by an inappropriate nap when I could or should be doing something more productive.
But I really have no right to feel sorry for myself. As I said, it's my own fault that things are this way. Yes, I have friends. These are people that I know love me, but I keep them at arms length. I shut people out because of an irrational fear of being let down. I know that people will let me down. I know that I will let others down. It's an inevitability that cannot be avoided. That's what makes being afraid of it so irrational.
But even so... Even though I shut people out and attempt such a solitary existence, why should I ever feel lonely? I spent some time in church today. It's the first time I've been to a church in several weeks, maybe even a couple months. More than hearing about what the pastor had to say, I was really there to reconnect with God. Because I came to realize, I've attempted to cut myself off from Him as well.
In the process of being let down by people, it's easy to be let down by churches too. Since the church is made up of people, again, this proves to be an inevitability. But that doesn't mean that God wants me to stay away from church altogether. It certainly doesn't mean that He wants me to lose my connection with Him. So while the pastor today was talking about suffering, I was listening to God welcome me back into His arms.
He never lets go. I can turn my back and run as far away as I want, but He's still there, more faithful than I could ever dream to be. But it isn't as if I've attempted to run away from Him in these past weeks or months. I've been indifferent. I know the argument is that that's just as bad, maybe even worse, than blatantly turning one's back on God. But the comfort I found this morning is in the fact that He's always there.
I may not surround myself with people, but that doesn't mean that I ever have to be alone. I may be sitting in my apartment by myself, but that doesn't mean that I ever need to feel lonely.