“Friendship happens on the way to something else. If you “try to meet new people” it feels weird and forced. The more you aim for friendship, the more it eludes you. But if you aim to learn or achieve something with others, friendship happens naturally during the shared pursuit.” James Clear
One of the biggest challenges that so many have faced in the last almost two years is the lack of community. It’s not like it wasn’t a problem before. It was. It’s just that the pandemic intensified it on so many levels. In late 2021, even after so many places in the world have gotten back to normal, there is still a sense of isolation and loneliness for many people.
There are several reasons for this. In a lot of cases, businesses have changed how they are doing things. I have a number of friends who went from going to the office every day to working exclusively from their homes. This is brilliant from the nuts and bolts of the business side of things. Companies are getting more productivity from their people who aren’t having to sit in traffic for an hour or two a day. At the same time, face-to-face connections have been replaced by phone calls and zoom meetings. Many employers don’t even require their people to turn the video on during a zoom meeting.
A second reason for loneliness and isolation is the fear that many still carry inside of them in regards to Covid. Rather than moving own with their lives, they have allowed that fear to create a wall that is keeping them out of church, going to the gym, and many other social settings. Fear is every bit as dangerous and insidious as any sickness or disease.
In the church arena, many people who pulled back originally because of the pandemic have stayed away for other reasons. The biggest reason seems to be that they just got out of the habit or it’s easier to just watch online. As David Kinnaman noted about churches in the middle of 2020, pastors are “recognizing that the relationships that they thought were much deeper with people were actually not as deep as they expected.”
What about you? How would you rate your relationships? How many close friends do you have? The quote from James Clear above is a powerful statement about friendship. Have you been intentional in maintaining your friendships over the last couple of years? Are you in need of some new friends?
There are so many great ways to meet new people that don’t include going to a bar! Church, recreational sporting leagues, clubs, volunteering in your community, and learning a new hobby are just a few examples of great places where you can meet people with similar interests to yours. Can you think of any others?
As we wrap up another tough year, maybe one of your goals for 2022 could be to find a new friend or two. You will be glad that you did!
David and Annie are serving the Lord in the US, Africa, India, and South America. Would you consider joining their team? Just click here to get involved. Thanks so much!