I am not sure about you, but this year New Year’s day did not seem like a good day to start any new habits. I was worn out from a lot, 2016 was a year of a lot of effort. We had to make a lot of difficult decisions:
- Buy our house or keep renting in the real estate market we live in.
- Choose a president and a lot of other government positions.
- Finding a church that we could worship in without reservation.
- New commitments to our careers, friendships, etc…
One decision that I made that I did not necessarily mean to make was to become skeptical of other people. To be honest, I had done this for a very long time, but for the sake of this writing let’s just deal with the present.
I recently listened to a podcast about why men have such a difficult time making and keeping friends in their middle ages. (Listen to the podcast here)In the podcast, it pretty well described me to the exact description; growing up with close friends, playing sports and just always being with my group of friends. We never had to schedule around other events, we were just young kids with very few responsibilities. I played endless hours of basketball with my friends, there was never much effort put into it. This followed as I went on to college, living in a dorm, I always had people to hang out with. I remember a birthday party that I had where we took over thirty of my friends and had dinner in a restaurant. I just always remember being a part of a larger group who really cared about each other.
Now in adulthood, I have very few friendships. I used to think it was just me (which it partially is), but it is more what my friendships were based on. I realize that in my thirties, most of my friendships were with guys who were trying to imagine church differently, I was stuck in the discovery mode for a long time. Meanwhile, many of my friends started non-profit organizations and churches, started practicing their theories. I continued to question and struggle with what the church should be. I gave up that struggle a little under a year ago. I officially decided I did not really have any voice left in this conversation, and very few people were still talking about it much.
I am slow to change, but I am really praying that on this resurrection day, I can find a few more friends to sharpen me, as I can sharpen them in their faith. I more fully understand that I must make more sacrifices to keep friendships going. I also want to keep working to resurrecting my optimistic, positive spirit that I had years ago. I know it will take work, I know it will not be an easy path, but I commit to it.
If you are reading this and feel a pull, please comment and I would love to sit down with you and talk about it. I know there are more men and women out there who experience loneliness than I ever thought.