Lost stars

CYBER

Suppose for a moment you were lost, searching for the meaning of life, searching for a reason to belong, searching for a reason to live.

Where would you turn? What would you do?

The answer is quite clear, to me anyway. People turn to the next best thing if real people aren’t around, Facebook for the adult crowd, some other sort of social media for all the hep hipsters.

Have you noticed how some people pour out their souls, their drama, their mundane details of life on Facebook? Why would they do that?

Because they are searching for human contact.

We need human contact. We need to make some kind of connection. We are all so alone.

We all read our scripts, and we respond, and we go along our merry ways. We sit across from each other in a restaurant, but we don’t talk. We scroll FB, reading the last news. We check, check, check our text messages.

Maybe we tweet the maximum characters. Maybe we prefer Snapchat.

But we don’t chat. Not in person. Not anymore.

It’s just not cool to become intimate. We need a wall between us, a place to hide.

It’s easier to deal with rejection that way.

The price we pay for the lack of intimacy and connection is emptiness. There is nothing like that hollow feeling, except maybe death. I’m not sure which is worse, emptiness or death.

So what do we do after we have built this wall to protect our fragile egos?

We wait.

And wait.

And wait for the right person to tear it down, to scale it, to fashion a door, anything. We NEED someone to think we’re worth the effort to get past our walls.

And when it doesn’t happen, we venture out and go right back to the place that put us in solitary confinement—social media.

When we are lonely and desperate, hurting and sad, seeking and needing, we pour out our feelings, hoping that someone will listen, better yet, that SOMEONE will respond.

Truth be told, on many occasions, I’ve often wished I could text God or at least send him a private message on Facebook when in reality all I need to do is to talk to him via what most people call prayer.

The trouble is we only know how to communicate electronically these days. We have forgotten how to use our heads and our hearts.

I used to think, “Why is that person on Facebook telling me all about his despicable day? Why is she telling me what she had for supper and what caused her to stub her toe?”

But I know.

It’s that hollow feeling.

We have become so advanced that we’ve learned to travel far, far away from each other. We’re free falling into ourselves, and the space is immense, expanding like the Universe.

And the emptiness scares us. It reminds us how alone we are.

Oh, some say, just turn to God.

But what about those who can’t find God?

What about those who actually go into churches to seek him?

The signs on the building suggest He is there. But when they walk in, they look around and find busy, busy people—not God.

They meet rejection head on because the busy people are too busy to get to know them, let alone invest in them.

They judge them on the length of their hair, the color of their skin, the price tag on their clothes. Maybe they judge them by much they weigh, how old they are, how young they are, how educated they are, and so on and so on.

Or maybe no one notices they are there.

The youth groups are busy, busy planning their mission trips to help needy souls on the beach, at the ski resorts, or in foreign countries. They don’t see the intruder.

The women’s groups are busy, busy planning their next retreat, their next social event, their next charity event, too busy, busy to deal with the intruder.

And the other busy people?

He’s on this committee. She’s on that committee.

Heaven help the intruder who shows up at the wrong time during the wrong committee, especially committees searching for beautiful people who will make them feel good about their own imperfect, fat, uneducated, slothful, gossiping selves.

And, yes, I said intruder because outsiders disrupt the balance. Insiders have to stop what they’re doing to move over in the pew to make room for somebody else.

So what’s a poor, empty outsider soul to do?

Probably the same thing many other lonely people do. They go in search of people like themselves.

And, as I said before, what better place to find other lonely souls than the modern public forum, social media, a place where lonely people can send a message into the Universe just to see if anyone else is listening?

I know. I’ve been both the outsider and the busy, busy insider.

If you have found where you belong, in church or wherever, do you make the effort to search for lost stars?

If the answer is no, then why not? Are you too busy, or would the situation become too uncomfortable if you found one?

By the way, thank you for taking time to connect with me via my blog. I wish we could sit and chat eye to eye over a cup of tea or coffee. But that, I’m afraid, will never happen. My fault or yours. It doesn’t matter. It just is what it is.

So I ask a sincere favor of you, my friend. The next time you find yourself launching your FB app, ask yourself a couple of questions.

What are you REALLY doing? What do you really need?

Whatever you’re doing, whatever you need, I hope you find it. Connect.

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7 thoughts on “Lost stars

  1. I’d love to sit and chat over coffee, or any other delectable beverage.
    Sometimes I think I share too much, and then other times i think, “people want to know”. I suppose i am disillusioned by my own importance… or lack there of. I think time is the issue. I know folks care (or at least I think a few do), but it’s easier to just scroll along and say, “Oh, so and so is OK” than it is to pick up the phone and call them. I am guilty in that department as well.
    Living a life of solitude, ’tis hard to envision others as lonely as I.

      • I guess all of us really just want someone to tell it to…
        In a world of alternating 1’s and 0’s, I too frequently feel like a 4. People flock around, for “4” is quite a novelty. But at the end of the day, everybody wants their matching 1 or 0. Four is forgotten. Did she ever really exist?

      • I get it. I really do. Trust me, though, you have changed many lives in many positive ways. I think we all have a desire to find the other half of ourselves. Some do, some don’t.

      • I figured that I’m already forgotten. I truly never had a thought in my mind that ANYONE would read this. I wrote it to myself, for myself. I’m not important at my job anymore because I’m old. I’m not important as a parent because I don’t know anything anymore. I’m not a great anything. I guess I will just have to live as though I’m on an island alone with God. He says I’m important. That means you are important too. For what it’s worth, you continue to touch people’s lives everyday here in Rooville. You are like a hometown celebrity. But, like a celebrity, everyone may know who you are, but they don’t know WHO you are. I consider myself one of the fortune few who has actually got to hang out with a true “celeb”–you. Hey, you today, Steven Tyler tomorrow. It could happen. 🙂

        And while I’m rambling, people don’t “get” why I want to meet Steven Tyler. It’s because I see some “good” in there. I see someone who would fight for the underdog. It’s not his incredible voice or his long hair (which I like!) or his musical ability (which I admire) or his clothing style (that I emulate). It’s certainly not his foul language or promiscuity. It’s that tiny bit of “goodness” that feels other people’s pain. Maybe I’m making it up. It’s okay. I could do worse. I just like being around compassionate souls who feel deeply. I think he does. I know you do. And, boy, I talk too much.

  2. I’ve pondered the idea of starting some kind of conversation club… not the foreign language kind, but just an opportunity to talk with people. My own skills have oxidized with exposure to busyness. Need that “iron sharpening iron,” you know?

    I am super-introverted. I used to think I could be quite happy without any interaction with other people. Not that I don’t like people, I just feel content being alone. An experience in college that I think of as “the lonely semester” changed my way of thinking. After living in a tiny, three-person dorm room, I was so happy to be assigned a room by myself in a brand new dorm. I absolutely loved it for a few weeks, but as time went on I realized how much I missed that everyday, familial interaction with people. It really made me think about people I knew who lived alone or had trouble finding a place to belong. I try to be intentional about reaching out to people who seem to be outsiders. I try to be patient with people and appreciate the way our idiosyncrasies beautify relationships and keep them interesting.

    • I decided I didn’t want to be introverted anymore. Actually, I think I was living out other people’s expectations of me. I decided I wanted to sing, so I sing now. It may not be great, but it is better than singing on the inside so that no one, not even yourself can hear.

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