We’ve all done it.
We’ve all seen the girl sitting by herself at lunch when we were in school, and yet we walked right on by.
We’ve all heard that still small voice inside our heads urging us to pick up the phone and call someone, but instead we distract ourselves and find something else to do.
We all know someone who isn’t able to get out the house and think, “I have too much to do this week. I will visit them next week.” But next week never comes.
We all have been doing something and think I should send a note or a letter to so-and-so but it never gets written.
We see a friend at church on Sunday or at the store and say, “Hey, we should get together for lunch.” But we never set a date.
We fill up our lives with activity. We say that we can’t do this right now. We say that the time isn’t right, that we’ll reach out when we are less busy. But we are never less busy.
We all have our reasons, our excuses, for not reaching out to each other, but it is creating an epidemic.
It is an epidemic of loneliness.
It is an epidemic where people feel isolated and alone.
It is an epidemic where people feel like they don’t matter.
It is an epidemic where people feel like no one cares.
We preach community. We talk about community. We read about community, but do we really live community?
And if we do reach out, how far do we reach? Do we reach out past our comfort zone or just enough that we still feel safe?
This is something I struggle with. I want community. I reach out. I get slapped down and I pull back into my shell and refuse to reach out at all.
I fill my life with meaningless activity so that people don’t see how really lonely that I am.
I make up excuses why I can’t do it.
“My grandmother needs me and I can’t leave her alone.”
“I don’t want to be a bother.”
“I’m too busy.”
“I don’t want to be rejected.”
“No one reaches out to me so why should I reach out to them.”
It reminds me of a song we used to sing when I was growing up. It’s called “Excuses.”
The chorus goes like this:
We hear them everyday
Well, the devil will supply them
If from church we stay away
When people come to know the Lord
The devil always loses
So to keep them folks away from church
He offers them excuses.
Well, if it means keeping us from developing a true community with others then the devil offers us excuses for that too.
Well, I say, “NO MORE EXCUSES!”
No more excuses. No more reasons not to reach out. No more.
I’m done with excuses from myself and from others.
It might be painful. I might be scared. You might be scared. But it is time to get real. It is time to reach out. It is time to start a revolution, a LOVE revolution.