A humbling lesson about relationships
Years ago, I hosted a men’s Bible study at my house. When I needed to step aside from leading and put my time and attention elsewhere after the loss of my company, I handed the Bible study off to a faithful attendee who was ready and able to lead. The meeting place shifted from my home to his. About a year passed before I was able to join the group again at their new location. After dinner one evening, I drove my car to Roland’s house. I hadn't been there for a while, but when I came to the front door, I tried the knob and found it opened easily, nothing unusual for a Bible study meeting. Opening the door, I walked into the sound of voices. I took a few paces into the kitchen and froze. Sitting around a table are faces I've never seen, expressions frozen.
“Uh —excuse me, is Roland here?”
A man, who looked to be the head of the household said, “Who’s Roland?”
Did I just walk into someone else's house?
Mortified, the truth set in. I apologized profusely, trying not to appear the madman, and was all but escorted out to my car by one of the gentlemen in the house.
Well, that was pretty embarrassing. At least I had a Bible in my hands. Come to think of it, that might’ve made it more frightening for some!
Later on, when I retold my experience to Roland, I learned that he had moved to a new home just after he began hosting the Bible study. I pulled away from the men’s Bible study, ignorant that a friend of mine had moved. I had tunnel vision. I was low and discouraged because of my financial situation. I was disconnected. The truth is I had been so consumed with navigating the loss of my company and residual issues that I disengaged from the very people who could have helped me through my challenges.
Since then, I’ve realized the importance of community and relationships. Instead of pulling away during difficult times, we need to stay plugged in, sharing our challenges, our concerns with others that care. If you do I think you will find that some of those very people have traveled down that same road and can provide wise counsel so that hope can be restored.
What’s the alternative? Loneliness and hopeless. Yeah, I think I’ll stay connected!