We see this being effectively lived out in many godly men who had a brother in arms to walk with.  Moses had Aaron, David had Jonathan, and the disciples had each other.  None of us are immune from the need to be in community with others.

Most of us have had friends and mentors come and go, married and moved on, or uproot and leave.  It is not uncommon to feel a sense of abandonment and weariness at the thought of "starting over" again to establish new friendships and relationships, but it imperative we do.

But how do we circumvent the natural tendency to become isolated through the attrition of friends? Intentionally and deliberately!

No one is going to beat down our door and lead us into a relationship with them.  Each of us must decide it is something we want, understand it is something we need, and intentionally seek opportunities to fulfill it.

On my second Sunday on the island, I went to church by myself, sat alone in the auditorium and didn't know a soul.  While I listened to the message, I clearly felt the Lord telling me I had to take a deliberate step in order to get connected because no one was going to do it for me.

As I exited the building, I walked around the many booths offering a variety of activities and ministries while wresting with God—knowing what I should do and hesitant about doing it.  I finally purposefully signed my name on three empty lists—one for a small-group, one for a recreational activity, and one for a men's group.

When I ultimately did, I felt a peace and confidence God was going to use each of these situations on my current journey. Through these activities, I made some life-long friends, experienced new and exciting adventures and learned more about myself. 

Despite my struggle to fit in, make new relationships and get established in an unfamiliar community, this opportunity to move away from all that I know has caused me to grow and challenge myself in ways I could have never planned nor expected. 

Yet, every day it takes a conscious intentional effort and deliberate decisions on my part to be in relationships with a community of believers.

As long as I don't seclude myself on my own man-made (or physical) island, there is so much I can learn if I give others the opportunity to speak into me and so many people I can impact if I am willing to invest my life into them.

If you need a spiritual advisor—ask around at your church.  If you are missing a parental figure or mentor in your life—seek someone willing to fill that role.  If you don't have a friend who shares your interests—go and be that friend to someone else.  If you feel you are the only one on your island—start walking because there are many others who share your feelings.

Being single does not mean being alone.  Singleness is a season, alone is a choice.

Get connected today.


Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in Crosswalk.com's Singles Channel.  An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback?  Send your comments and questions to CYdmg@yahoo.com. 

**This article first published on December 2, 2010.


 

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