I disciple/meet one-on-one with several girls. And I love it. I love taking an hour or two to sit with someone I’ve never sat with before, and describing what God has done for me. I love hearing another’s heart pouring out undiluted life.
But in meeting with friends and acquaintances every week, I’m met with a challenge: help them.
Help them to know God better.
Help them to do the right thing.
Give them strategies for improving their relationships with their Creator.
And I’m good at that. I’m a problem-solving, discerning kind of girl who can talk any subject into submission.
Having trouble fitting God into your schedule? Let me block out your week with you.
Not sure what to think about Baptism? Well, let me pull out my Wayne Grudem here, and… look! I’ve highlighted the relevant sections there for you.
But you know what’s frustrating?
No matter how many strategies I give someone, they always come back next week. They want to meet again to talk about the same thing or something very similar.
And it makes me tired.
And it makes me wonder what I’ve done wrong.
I’ve helped them solve that problem. Is life just a century of people coming to me with questions?
So, being the girl who answers questions, I set out to answer my own question:
Why don’t any of them find their own answers?
And here’s what I came up with:
“…the context in which one can sustain a single uninterrupted thought is much rarer and harder to create than it was only ten years ago.”
Jason Stellman “Googling Ourselves to Death” Tabletalk Magazine
Okay, this is going to sound like a tangent, but I promise it isn’t.
One of my roommates gets mad at me because I’m “so introverted” and the other gets sad at me because of it.
But I took a detailed personality profile a little while ago, and it showed me as pretty perfectly balanced between introverted and extroverted. Also, if you were to block out my life, the vast majority of my time is spent with people. I live with people. I work all day with people. I meet people for coffee. I go to bible study with people. I go out for something fun at least once a week… with people. In fact, my schedule ends up looking a lot like this most weeks:
(The green is stuff with people. The pink is stuff alone.)
Of course, no two weeks are the same, and there are several chunks of time that might end up being with other people one week and alone the next, but really, the only guaranteed time alone I get is in the mornings.
So why do my roommates dislike my introversion?
I think it’s because, “the context in which one can sustain a single uninterrupted thought is much rarer and harder to create than it was only ten years ago.” I don’t think it bothers them when I’m alone. I think it bothers them when they’re alone.
I think it bothers them when there’s nothing and no one to interrupt their thoughts.
I loved the article “We’re Googling Ourselves to Death”. I loved it.
I loved it because it examined the way our iPhones and Twitter feeds are changing our identities. I would go so far as to say that people not only struggle to create the context of uninterrupted thought, but that we hate and fear that context. I think we hate and fear being alone with our Creator and being alone with our thoughts.
I think that’s why the girls never stop coming with questions. It’s why giving them one strategy is never enough. It isn’t that I advised wrongly or never showed them how to figure these things out on their own… It’s that they hate the context in which their questions are answered.
Some questions only find answers in the quiet of a closet.
So rather than be alone with their thoughts and Creator God, they ask me, I spend time in the closet, and give them the answer. They keep coming to me because deep down, they believe this life is more about the answer than about sitting in an uninterrupted context and facing God.
They can’t face Him.