There is no question that the best company we can have is the Lord. It is a given that He is always with us. So why do some of us feel lonely at times, may be too often?
Consider this as a possibility. For me, at those times, in those moments, I feel that Jesus wants me and needs me to interact with others, with my neighbors.
Connecting with others is part of Love Thy Neighbor
Loving our neighbors is a fundamental part of Jesus’ teachings, of Christianity. One key to loving our neighbors is reaching out and building connections. Us, humans, interacting and relating to each other, helping each other, are crucial parts of our physical lives. Loving our neighbors embodies this notion; loving our neighbors includes reaching out and conversing, it includes helping another person smile. Jesus chose to reach out and to give, to help all those around him see the right way to live.
For the rest of us, it is simpler. We don’t need to go so far as teach with every word we speak. All we need to do is interact, reach out, build new relationships and nurture existing ones.
Feeling lonely is a calling to connect with others
Unfortunately, in spite of the thousands of people around us, and the billions on earth, we still often fall into the trap of felling alone. Such a feeling is usually an indication that there is something we need to do, possibly a calling from Jesus to reach out and connect with others. I find it so effective to simply talk to another person, to my neighbor; not necessarily about problems, but about the simple things in life, be it the weather, a local team, or a great restaurant.
The first step can be looking for ways to reach out. The internet is an amazing gift for building new interests and for finding people with such similar interests. It makes the possibilities almost endless, making neighbors with those miles away. The only catch is that it takes a couple of proactive steps, such as doing a search, choosing a couple of possibilities, and attending an event or two a week.
The internet makes it that much more possible to find ideas and things to do with other people. It can be a writing group, a book club, playing basketball pickup games, or even board games. There are also groups for dance lessons, for discussions about a given profession, or simply gatherings to go to a movie. Meetup.com is one great example and tool for finding groups that other people started. The service also allows anyone to start a group of their own that would be appealing to others nearby.
Imagine enjoying an activity as encouragement to take that first step
Still, it might be easier said than done. It is these first few proactive steps that may be the most challenging. To overcome the challenge of taking these steps, I sometimes imagine the fun it would be to play a new instrument, or to play beginner soccer with a few people.
Remember though that our commitment to church and bible study remain the priority. It is crucial that we maintain our connection and spend time with those who share our spiritual and religious beliefs. On the other days or evenings, building new connections and investing into ones we already have, are necessary ways to live by the rule of loving our neighbors, and to help us answer that call we might feel from loneliness.