KIDS ULTIMATELY GET AN AWFUL FRIGHT. When the cognitive light finally goes on in all children’s minds they discover that they (and we) live in a world that necessitates aloneness—sometimes it’s inescapable. Breeding this reality in children—a safe autonomy of spirit—is hence a parental imperative.
Now, being alone in the world, even though we travel our journeys with people, merely underscores how important faith, hope and a friend in God are.
There are times, as adults, when we’ll feel incredibly desolate, confused and numbed to a communal reality—and even more so in pretentiousness; oh how ghastly that is! We just can’t be reached spiritually at these times when we’re pretending to be someone we’re not. And yet, these can perhaps be seen as tests to strengthen us, even though that ‘scene’ is beyond our vision. The terror holds us for a time.
This spiritual call is really about being true to ourselves.
And when children begin to understand that the initial gauntlet is confirmed in the adult experience of aloneness it brings a certain jolt. This is generally the teen or early adult experience of it. Suddenly there’s the feeling of aloneness, but now with it, an altogether scary context of responsibility—mix that with the vociferous lack of confidence many feel glued to. No wonder many feel overwhelmed and abandoned.
Their symbiotic attachments of childhood—still clinging somewhat—are wrenched away; let go in a world big and cumbersome, so far as complexity and identity are concerned.
Then we come again, in our adulthood, knowing the scant truth of the world—many things do come against us and not even our closest family can assist us cope; not in terms of the visceral—the stuff of the mind and heart; the personal experience.
Our thoughts and feelings are ours and ours alone. Who can truly tell how deep in the mire someone else is feeling?
Oh what a friend to have in Jesus, through these times. But it needs to be a practical friendship that means we’re spiritually in good company—especially when we’re physically alone. Rubbish! We can feel mightily alone in a crowded room. Feeling alone is haphazardly indiscriminate. Aloneness is a respecter of no person; it leaves it swath behind without a care.
Alone we come into the world and alone we leave it. It compounds the case for God and our need of him. This is a thing we must teach our children.
It’s also a thing to heed as adults. Faith and hope are ours in God.
And you’ve waited patiently, so here it is... aloneness’s great truth is we are our own best companions. When we realise this; that we’re top people who’re really worth knowing, we invest of ourselves and we delight to explore our identities... and from this, everything else eventually comes.
The journey to God is the journey to self. Let’s become ourselves—our true, God-intended selves! Let that idea sink deep within, anchoring to our very souls.
God has put us in charge of this process; and he leads us when we’re ready.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.