The original topic is loneliness, and what then does seeking our purpose have to do with loneliness? Purpose goes along with values and meaning for our lives. It would be easy to make up a story and say this is the way things happen and this is why we are struggling with this problem today. We can do a let’s pretend and see if maybe it works.
Our let’s pretend story will need to go back several generations. Perhaps to a village. It would be easy to pretend most people didn’t struggle with values and purpose in a village because villages were family-oriented. A sense of family told us where our purpose was. People grew up, found a source of livelihood, a baker, weaver, seamstress, farm laborer, potter, etc. Ususally a child was apprenticed young so they knew early on what their trade would be. At the right time they would find a mate, have a family and the circle of life continued in that manner as they lived in the same community from one generation to the next.
Mostly they weren’t concerned about their values or meaning of their lives. But life has a way of changing and not always for the better, just changing. Villages change into cities and the bigger they get the more disenfranchised individuals become. In America stories abound about the men who after traveling west to find their fortunes, would send back to eastern cities for wives, or even in some cases send back to their country of origin for a wife to come to this country.
They sought to fulfill the pattern they had been raised in. That pattern included religion, family, and community. Fast forward into the late 1800s as the expansion across the world continued. There was a push for bigger and better planes, boats, and trains as people moved into the 1900s. We burst into the new century flying higher and speeding faster into the future. There were movies and telephones and new inventions almost daily.
With our mad rush onward another push was to become progressive. The more progressive we became morals and values became passe’. Progressives tried to pass laws to make humanity better but you make humanity better by changing the heart, as Jesus did. And you can’t replace religion or the solid family unit and whack away at the foundation without destroying society and the family. The family is the first defense against loneliness. And religion and community go hand and hand in fighting loneliness.
“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.” – Robin Williams
*from the movie World’s Greatest Dad written by Bobcat Goldthwait
I don’t believe either Robin Williams or Bobcat were the first or will they be the last to feel this way. However, the progressive way of thinking doesn’t make people better. You can’t pass laws and expect change. It reminds me of a cartoon I saw once. There are two women sitting in a barroom and the one woman says, ‘You just can’t find a good man anymore’.
I would like to tell her, ‘Let me enlighten you, babe, it’s hard enough to find a ‘good man’ in most churches let alone in a barroom’. And I’m not saying there aren’t good men in churches. I’m saying be selective even in churches lest you find a wolf in sheep’s clothing—and that’s for men and women. I would leave all of us with these two thoughts:
As Jesus said,
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
43) For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44) For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
45) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
46) And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
47) Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48) He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.