August 8 Post

Life On My Own Private Island – It Wasn’t Luxurious or Tropical, but Painful and Lonely

We just flat-out can’t do life all alone!  As the poem by John Donne says, No Man is an Island.  I (Ryan) was created to share joys, sorrows and everything in between with close friends.  Friends who are always willing to “show up for me”.

Recently I was watching CBS’s Sunday Morning and the episode was about islands. They talked about the kitchen island, the land in the middle of water island, oil rigs as islands….and how no man is an island.  It’s this last one that I found so intriguing.

I used to think I could do life all on my own.  In 2005, Jamie and I moved back to Kansas City from Charlotte.  I had lost touch with most high school friends, was now far from many college friends and was working from home.  I was not a part of a church or any other social “clubs” – I didn’t have any go-to friends or relationships of substance, outside of my family and Jamie.

I found myself on an “island” and it was lonely place.  I believe way too many people are living their lives on an island of solitude.  They are going at the rigors of life 100% on their own, without the friendship, support and care of others whom they can lean on.

So let me round out my story

Jamie drug me to church [kicking and screaming] in June of 2010.  I was at the bottom of the barrel – I was a self-absorbed person who lived on the surface of life.  Not having go-to friends was much of my own doing, as I had closed myself off and I had not invested in anyone else.  And that’s where Christ stepped in.  Through Him and the church, I am very fortunate to have developed a number of close friendships.

For me, life has become so much richer as I have formed these deep and meaningful friendships.  It’s not a matter of stockpiling friendships as trophies, but about Love….self-giving love through the vehicle of friendship.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

And what is that law?  John 13:34 says it’s all about loving your neighbor, just as Christ loved you.  And that love is all about building up and patiently bearing with the one in need.

What else is there to say?  I welcome comments and feedback.