Sunday, February 24, 2008

Isolation

Here is a lesson I am learning: it’s not good to be alone. The Bible says that in Genesis 2:18: Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." Specifically it is talking of God making woman for man but it’s application is much greater. I need my wife and I need friends too.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him--a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
This is something I am learning through the Samson Society. I meet with a group of guys every week and I call a friend almost every day. I try to be open about what is going on in my life. I’m learning that I don’t have to do it all by myself. I’m finding the synergistic strength that comes from more than one.

I was able to put it into practice this week. My wife and I went to a marriage conference last weekend and had a great time. As soon as it was over, we learned that a bad situation had happened at home while we were gone. As we drove home, I listened to my work voicemail messages and heard from a customer who expressed concern that I had damaged a sink while doing a re-grout job in her bathroom. Talk about horrible timing! I kept that to myself figuring there was enough going on already.

The next morning I called the customer and was glad to hear that she had calmed down. I listened to what she had to say and told her I would do some research and get back to her. Then I did something I rarely do. I told my wife what was going on. Usually I would hold it in and try to figure out what to do. It felt so good to spread my burden around. It felt good to force myself out of isolation. It felt good to hear her encouragement and sympathy.

It took two days but I was able to research the problem, talk to some tile companies and in the end the customer was satisfied that I hadn’t caused the problem. It was probably something already there that she hadn’t noticed before.

I told my friends in the Samson Society the story last night. I was thankful that together we are learning to step out of isolation. Our lives are becoming an open book with each other and that is carrying over to other areas and relationships as well.

I have to push myself to open up. I find it hard to come up with the words to express what is going on let alone what is going on inside. I usually want to have things figured out before I talk about them; I’m learning to express the unfinished. It’s also hard to talk about things going on in my life when I know the answers. I feel silly when I know the solution but can’t seem to put it into practice.

God is telling me that I need other people, we all do. He didn’t create me do be a lone ranger. The devil likes me to be alone, easier to pick me off that way. There is no such thing as a self-made-man; just guys who fail to realize how much others have helped them.

It’s hard but I’m going to keep pushing against the wall of isolation. I find joy in collective strength and I find peace in knowing others are watching my back.

Philip

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