A couple of weeks ago I took a ten-day trip to South Carolina to meet with other pastors and tell them about what God is doing in Boston. It was my longest trip away from my family since... ever. Being a dad is stressful and I was looking forward to a few days to myself. I was going to get an extended taste of the single life, something which I haven’t known for thirteen years.
It started off great. I enjoyed time to read and work alone. I was shocked by how cheap eating out was. I could even afford a soda (Big spender). But then the bliss began to unravel and started to really miss Allie and the kids. It all culminated onone sad night.
I went to a fancy pizza place that was within walking distance from the hotel. The hostess greeted me by saying, “How many?” Which I thought was weird, it was only me. So I said, “One.” And she said, “Oh, ok well I’ll sit you at the bar then.” There were plenty of open tables and it was after the dinner rush. I guess my situation was so sad that the bar was the logical place to send me: “This guy needs a drink.” At the bar, I was asked, “What are you drinking?” I said, “Just a Diet Coke.” and she said, “Just you?” And I said, “Yeah.” I’ve never been asked so much about being by myself in my life.
I got the TV changed to the Red Sox game, ate my Stromboli and Diet Coke all by myself, and talked to no one. The kicker was when the bill came in big bold letters it said, “Party of 1.” It was at that moment that everything made sense. Going out with a group of friends is so much better than eating alone.
I was a teenager the last time I was single. Life has different rhythms that you become accustomed to. With a family of six (Almost seven), I have more than enough interpersonal relationships. Friendships outside that take effort and intentionality. Sadly, this is why when people get married and have kids, their single friends are often left in the dust (Singles, if you have a married friend who is still active in your life, they care deeply about you).
At that bar in Powdersville, SC I realized the true value of friendship. Sitting alone is hard. Then I began to think about those friends of mine that I would want to, not just share a table with, but share eternity with God with them. I have friends who don’t follow Christ, and thinking about the separated and lonely forever gives me anxiety. And I think it should… do we care enough about our friends to introduce them to the greatest conceivable friend we’ve ever met? Yes, I’m talking about Jesus.
Tomorrow we look at a man who was looking for meaning and purpose his whole life. He finally found it because a friend introduced him to Jesus. I’d love for you to join me.
Join us for worship tomorrow!
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