Have you ever had the urge to run away from it all? To go rogue, so to speak?
I don’t know about you, but I know I have. I tend to experience difficulty in forming relational connections, and the ones that do emerge are often tenuous at best.
It doesn’t matter if I’m appreciated or even needed in a situation, at some level I want to drop it all and just run.
And rather embarrassingly, I have a history: my junior year in high school, I “broke up” with a girl who had been my closest friend since we were in grade school, which was followed by college and me “falling off the face of the earth” as another friend put it. I officially joined Facebook and am ready to shut it down less than a year later. Maybe it’s a build up of too much pain or anxiety or being let down that causes me to shut off the emotional valve into the relationships.
And then there’s something romantic and noble sounding about braving the world all by yourself. Striking out on your own. Being a lone wolf. Countless bestsellers (and Disney movies) focus on a character who does just that and doesn’t have to deal with the complexities of stable ties to society. These individuals, whether by choice or circumstance, distinctly do not conform to the woven fabric of the community, which places the lone wolf in the role of the outcast. The lone wolf has made a choice but the outcast could be a victim of circumstance. If they survive, it’s by their own wherewithal and tendency to go against the grain. Ultimately, their rebellion saves them.
Sounds great, right? But the problems with the lone wolf and outcast mentalities: If you find one worthy of following, you have to learn how to quell your rebellious heart (a topic for another post); and we were never meant to do life alone.
He who separates himself seeks his own desire,
He quarrels against all sound wisdom.
Proverbs 18:1 (NASB)
I think one of the most important things I can do for my children is to have them be part of a community and to do that I have to be part of a community myself. I have to live out what I hope to see their lives look like. Do I want them to be dreamers? Then I have to revive my own dreams. Do I want them to be more than happy, to be filled with joy? Then I have to find a way to that place myself. Do I want them to experience the benefits of being banded in brotherhood? Now is the time to model it for them.