For the last four days I’ve been a man on his own. My sons are traveling cross country with their grandparents in an RV (National Lampoon movie, anyone?) and Merriem is in the deep south taking care of her grandmother, who’s having mobility issues (Hoveround commercial, anyone?).
That leaves me in the house by myself. Well, myself and my stupid dog, who is too lazy to wake up and realize that I’m here. So she’s no good.
There are huge benefits to this deal. The house is quiet. It’s stayed pretty clean – I produce very little trash and all of my dishes are the frozen dinner variety. I can read when I want, I can write when I want, I can eat whatever I want (like a quart of Edy’s Espresso Chip ice cream…don’t judge me). And stuff stays exactly where I put it. For four days, I’ve known where the dog’s leash is. That’s never happened before, and it’s a great feeling.
But there’s a huge downside to being suddenly single. Yes, the house is quiet, but it’s too quiet. I need more than my couple of phone calls a day to my wife and a few texts to my boys. The novelty of frozen dinners only lasts so long (you’re not fooling anyone, Chicken Parmesan Now With Larger Portions, everybody knows you’re merely a nugget.). And don’t get me started on yard work. That’s why we genetically engineered three sons – so I’d never have to mow again.
After four days, I’ve concluded that I’ve been alone for long enough, thank you. I’m ready to get my family back (that happens later today). I’m ready to get our crazy insane schedule back. I’m ready to get the mess back.
It works the same way in our Christian life. Can you do it on your own? Yep. Get yourself a big ol’ study Bible and a halfway decent TV preacher, and you can ride this train all the way to heaven. It’s neat. It’s tidy. It’ll work.
But it’s boring. And it’s not good.
We were meant to do life together. We were meant to get our hands dirty in the lives of others. We were meant to get arm in arm and head down the road of spiritual maturity together.
At our church, we do that in small groups. At yours, it might be through Sunday School or community projects or some other means. But whatever you do in life, do it together. Don’t do it alone.
That’ll leave you with a feeling that’s emptier than my carton of Edy’s.