The Lonely Problem
Yesterday, I went to a home group for a church that I just started going to. To be honest, the church is a little weird to me. Church has always been a little weird to me. Sometimes I feel like God has a strange fan club.
To me, different denominations in the church has always been like if Justin Bieber fans couldn't agree to just be Justin Bieber fans, but instead divided themselves up according to which album they liked most. Some meet up weekly and sing along to My World 2.0 while others meet weekly to sing along to Purpose, all the while quietly judging one another for being on the other side of the same coin. Maybe I'm just over-thinking it though.
My point is, I showed up to this thing slightly reluctantly, but in a spirit of wanting to find some friends - some real friends. I small talked for a bit, tried my best to ask engaging questions, and maintain open and inviting body language. It felt like work. That kind of stuff pretty much always does feel like work to me.
Everyone sat down eventually, and we listened to the leaders of the group talk for a while before they told us to go break into smaller groups. After asking a group if I could join them and being rejected by a hyper-spiritual warrior of a girl who felt God calling her to keep her group exclusively female, I ended up sitting on a yellow throw pillow in an unfamiliar living room with a bunch of 20-something guys I'd never met.
We went around the horn naming prayers requests. I was the only guy in the group who isn't in college. So every guy in the circle with the exception of me said something to the tune of my classes are hard, and I'm not sleeping enough. There was one thing though that every single guy in the group said that I also related to, though if felt like nobody really knew what to do about it.
Every single guy, in their own way mentioned a lack of substantial relationships in their lives: Loneliness. How can it be that 10 guys can be sitting around a living room, all painfully lonely, and not see one another as the answer to that problem? I don't know. Because I am, and I didn't. As lonely as I am, I didn't want to be friends with these guys, and they didn't want to be friends with me. At least that's how it felt.
We, my generation, have a lonely problem. I'm not sure why, and I don't know what to do about it. But isn't it strange? There's millions of people out there all feeling lonely. From the outside looking in, it seems obvious that a million lonely people is a recipe for half a million un-lonely couples, or a quarter million friend groups of 4. Why doesn't it work like that? I was in a room with 10 lonely guys last night, and not one of them is my friend today. Why?
I want to figure out the root of the lonely problem my generation is facing. I want to figure out how I'm contributing to it, and how I can begin to reverse it in my own life. How can I open up the flood gates to community and genuine connection? I'm not sure, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Email me what you think about the lonely problem. Whether you just need to vent, or you think you have a solution, I want to hear what you have to say.