When I was fairly young I hated being alone. I didn’t like silence much either.
My family dealt with my parent’s divorce, my older sis and bro were out with friends and soon out of the house entirely.
In at least some of my teen years I got along much better with our black Labrador (Sam) than my Mom, and she was mostly at work or out with a boyfriend anyhow.
But I did have a lot of friends. We hung out constantly, did parties, overnights, camping trips and paper routes together. I had plenty of musician friends and played or sat in jamming with a lot of them, listened to music and in those days got high together.
Girlfriends were not an issue either, and as I got better as a singer and guitarist there were plenty of people and instruments of pleasure around pretty much any time I wanted to go for ’em.
But without God I was “without hope in the world” (as Paul writes in one of his New Testament letters).
My ever-present radio was always rockin’ the music stations. It was under my pillow and on all night long. My turntable had speakers in our living room and extensions in my upstairs bedroom- and it was Loud. The only time I wasn’t listening to music was when I was rehearsing or going to shows, playing shows… you get the picture.
Yet I was lonely, really lonely though mostly surrounded by people, music and noise. Silence rather frightened me.
From late in my 18th year to the present (62) I’ve lived in intentional, fairly close-knit community.
Most (not all) are believers and we share a common Savior, basic common goals and daily life. Singles, marrieds, babies, teens, people in every generation up to very elderly folks interact daily.
My wife and I live in a room, I have an office and storage space, share common kitchen, living, dining rooms and outside yard, garden areas and such with others.
I might listen to the radio (mostly news) and rarely listen to music (unless I’m learning a song, writing or recording or playing a show, or when I daily exercise. I sometimes listen with a view to recording or writing, but that’s more of a “homework” sort of thing for me. I don’t dislike it, but it’s not so much what I do for pleasure.
Living in this chosen/called environment I’m only alone when I want to be. And honestly, I’m usually comfortable by myself or in a crowd -either way. Very different from my younger years.
Today (mid-day on a Tuesday) the grandkids and neighbor kids aren’t home from school yet, my wife and friend are at her phys. therapy appointment, all but a couple of adults on our floor are at work and good family/friends who will move in next door soon aren’t quite finished with their rooms yet- so it’s very quiet on the floor.
I like it. And I still appreciate the noise!
It’s so fun hearing/seeing the kids run up and down the floors, outside in warm weather, at the nearby park and so on. But I’ve learned to appreciate quiet times too.
There is something to be said for both- “in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”. Times of high intensity, times of quiet and rest, peace in both is a gift from God.
Not feeling lonely/depressed/fearful/bored and sensing the grace and peace given us makes it all good! For me, the living, -with- me risen Savior makes it all good.
Believe it or not we are never alone… only perhaps lacking attentiveness and focus on the God Who made us. “And in Him we live and move and have our being”.
How very different from when I was very young and very lost in myself.
This was my moment of reflection and gratefulness today.
Thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn