Friday, January 2, 2004
Somewhere on cable or late night TV, you might run into my old hero. He's a masked man who rides on a white horse, who shoots silver bullets and always brings in the bad guys. Every episode ends with someone asking, "Who was that Masked Man?" And as the exciting William Tell Overture crescendos in the background, someone will say, "It's the Lone Ranger!" I'm getting all emotional here. Now there was one other thing about the Lone Ranger. He had a faithful sidekick, that Indian man in buckskins, Tonto. He's the one who got famous calling the Lone Ranger "Kemo Sabe." I never did know what that meant. Maybe the Lone Ranger didn't know either. Maybe that's a good thing. But there is one thing about the Lone Ranger that always seemed a little hard to understanding - even the Lone Ranger wasn't alone.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "No Lone Rangers."
Actually, there were never meant to be any Lone Rangers. Let's go all the way back to the original Lone Ranger - Adam, the first man God ever created. As the Creation saga unfolds in Genesis 1, the Bible uses a phrase repeatedly to describe how God felt about what He had been created each day - "And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:31 says, "God saw all that He had made, and it was very good."
There was, in fact, only one thing in Paradise that God said was not good. Our word for today from the Word of God, Genesis 2:18, tells us what it was. "The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'" And along comes Eve, and the rest is history.
But the point is really important - none of us is created to be alone. God says it's not good. But right now, you may be at a point where you're feeling pretty alone. I want you to think about this for a moment - extended loneliness is often a choice you make. See, all too often, we're lonely because we make choices that are cutting us off from people. Like withdrawing because you're wounded, going into self-pity mode, insisting that it can only be a certain person or persons who you will allow to answer your loneliness.
It's not good for you to be alone. So instead of waiting for something or someone magical to come in and end your loneliness, would you take action to break out of Lonely Island. God will give you the strength, but you have to take the step.
You may need to open up those feelings you've been burying, even if showing your feelings isn't usually your style. You're a prisoner of yourself. You have to do what you may not feel like doing, and that's to reach out to people when you feel like crawling into your cave. Maybe it's time to broaden your world, to risk moving beyond the small circle you've been depending on to meet all your needs. There could be a broken relationship you have to start to restore. Look for some people who need your love and attention. Your community is full of lonely people who need you. And treat people as you would like to be treated, not necessarily the way people have treated you. Remember, that's the Golden Rule.
Don't allow yourself to remain alone. Give yourself completely to the Savior who says, "I will never leave you or forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). And then, with your trembling hand firmly holding His strong hand, venture out of the cave called Loneliness into the light called Loving Others. Remember, even the Lone Ranger wasn't alone. And your Lord never meant for you to be either.