Last week, as we were visiting Misty’s mother in Tallahassee, I had the opportunity to take our dog, LuLu, for several walks around the retirement complex. At the back of the complex, there is a small pond. It’s lined by trees and is very peaceful.
The pond has an occupant. A Canadian goose has taken up residence at the pond. It sits basking itself in the sun by the shore. It floats quietly in the water. Sometimes, I saw it walk leisurely on the bank of the pond. It has the entire pond to itself.
The goose looks peaceful. The goose looks rested. The goose looks lonely. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s the world’s most introverted goose. Maybe it’s content to be by itself, hour after hour, day after day. Maybe it’s perfectly happy to have the pond to itself. Maybe it enjoys the solitary life.
But it doesn’t look like it. The goose looks lonely. It appears to be looking for its friends. As it floats in the pond, it often has its head down as if it is depressed. It’s walks along the pond appear to be aimless, sad walks. It looks like it wants companionship, but there’s not another goose in sight. It’s the lonely goose.
Sometimes, we can be tempted to seek a solitary life. People are a lot of work. It’s tempting to isolate ourselves in our houses or behind our desks at work and avoid others. It’s easier than ever to live a solitary life in today’s world. We can have almost any item delivered to us by Amazon. Our groceries are available for pick-up, so we don’t have to go in the store. We can “drive thru” to get our meals and our medicine. Even churches have begun to offer on-line services. You can worship in your PJs, drinking a cup of coffee, while you watch a worship service on your couch. (Just don’t forget to PayPal your contribution.) We can live a fairly solitary life.
This isn’t the way we were created to live. From the very beginning, God has said “it is not good for man to be alone”. We need human companionship. We need to learn to deal with the failings and irritations of the other, while they learn to deal with our failings and annoyances as well. We need to share our burdens with others while we help carry theirs as well. We need to celebrate and rejoice over the blessings of others and invite them to rejoice with us as well.
The lonely goose continues to float on its silent pond in Tallahassee. No friend in sight with whom it can share its life. Let’s not be like the lonely goose. Let’s seek out the friendship and community of friends and neighbors and live this life together for the glory of God.
We need each other. We were not created to be alone.