I recently had the opportunity to ride my motorcycle on some really great roads on my way to speak at an outreach event for a small Baptist church. The church is off an old country road, the kind of place one might miss if you didn’t slow down enough to see it.
Just before I was to speak, I sized up the audience to see if I needed to adapt any part of my message. In the audience, I noticed a man sitting all alone wearing a jungle hat and dark sunglasses. In some parts of Oklahoma, that’s not that out of the ordinary, but we were indoors, so it seemed a little strange. I just figured his bubble was a little off center and moved on scanning the audience. After I spoke, to my surprise the man in dark sunglasses approached me, introduced himself, and shared how the message challenged him. To protect his identity, I will refer to him as “Robert.” As we talked, Robert slowly removed the sunglasses he was hiding behind and began to share his story. I soon found out that “life” for Robert began to unravel in 2005. After 32 years of marriage, Robert’s wife left him and his grown children severed all relationships with him. What stood before me was a man broken and wounded by the consequences his past sins. Instead of facing his problems head on, like a lot of men, Robert moved into isolation. Running from his pain, Robert moved several hundred miles away into isolation on 120 acres at the end of an old country dirt road. My contact with him that day was his first human contact in over 30 days.
On my ride home, I couldn’t help but wonder how many “Roberts” there are in the world. I thought about my own isolation tendencies I often struggle with. After all, it’s just as easy to live isolated in suburbia America as it is at the end of a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. Since the time of Adam, men have struggled with living lives isolated from God and others, paralyze by the consequences of past failures and sin. Men, we must safeguard ourselves from living lives of isolation. Proverbs 18:1 says, “One who isolates himself pursues [selfish] desire; he rebels against all sound judgment.” If you see a little of “Robert” in yourself, purpose this day to:
Remember your identity in Christ. Although there are consequences to sin, we do not have to be defeated by the past Jesus died for. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17, HCSB)
Remove barriers that keep you isolated from others. Don’t cocoon or isolate yourself from your family and others. If you are “in Christ,” then your place is needed in the body of Christ to accomplish the work of Christ. You are the leader of your family. Leaders don’t run or hide!
Restore relationships. Restoring fractured relationships takes time and prayer. Be willing to wait on God to work in your relationships. Focus on being a servant leader. Look for opportunities to reengage with those around you.
Come Join Keith, Cody, and I at the Warrior Weekend Event THIS Saturday at 8:30 AM!
More info can be found here: