I love movie taglines especially sci-fi. Remember “We are not Alone”? It was part of a major ad campaign for one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and ranks right up there with such great sci-fi taglines as “In Space no one can hear you scream” from Alien and “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” from Star War.
Another great tagline “The truth is out there” is from one of my all time favorite TV shows The X-Files. It was on a poster of a darkened sky hanging in Mulder’s office, do you remember it? It was near another poster of a flying saucer hovering in the sky that read “I Want to believe.” Yeah Mulder and Scully were quite the team were’t they? So now you’re probably expecting to read something about UFO’s, extraterrestrials or an X-File caper. Well I’m sorry to disappoint, but you’ll find no Mulder and Scully story here, no flying saucers, space invaders or beings from a far off planet with a healing touch. In fact what I want to write about has nothing to do with outer space and everything to do with inner space, our own.
The life journey is not easy. At times we can be sailing along without a care, everything going our way, then BLAM! Out the blue life throws us a curve, something totally unexpected! For example, we could, without notice, be fired or laid off from our job and unable to meet our obligations. We could be faced with foreclosure, maybe even homelessness, or perhaps the love of our life, our one and only soul mate, breaks our heart and we find ourselves all alone. Worse yet, someone close to us who plays a major role in our life could die suddenly and leaves us lonely and blue, to ponder the mysteries of life.
At times like these most of us find ourselves disconnected from the world around us, I’m sure you know that “alone in a crowded room” feeling that I speak of. Our dream train derailed we lose hope and wallow in the depths of despair. In time, for some, the burden lessens and our journey continues. Sadly, some of us aren’t strong enough to persevere and are overcome by the use and abuse we believe has befalling us and are driven to drink, drugs, crime or even mental instability. Alone and afraid, our life journey which had once been so pleasant becomes a walk through hell and we become prisoners to the chaos.
I have found myself on the brink of despair a few times on my life long journey. As a teen, I ventured there at least twice, and languished in my self pity for far too long. I cursed God and blamed Him for all the pain, misery and heartache He had put me through. The first time was when I got kicked out of Bishop Amat, how could God have let that happen to me? How could He have let me go through all the painful fallout I went through with my mom? It just wasn’t fair? How could He do that?
The next time was four years later when I was twenty and my girlfriend of four years (off and on) the girl I thought I was to marry, dumped me and left me all tore up and bleeding inside. Of course the story wasn’t really that cut and dry, there was a whole lot more to it, but the resulting pain was the same, devastating! How the hell could God keep doing this to me? How could he continue to toy with my life? build me up only to tear me down again? Damn Him! Man, those were some real low points in my life, believe me. What’s that one Door’s song say? “I’ve been down so g-damn long, looks like up to me.” Yeah, I think I lived that line for some time.
Of course in reality God had nothing to do with either incident at least in a negative way. My pain was all self-inflicted. It was my own foolish choices and actions that sealed my fate. I was culpable for my actions. There was really no one to blame but myself.
Later in my late twenties I again passed through a dark period in my life when I allowed my circumstances, which were not all that bad, to drag me down and fill me with regret, discontent and unhappiness. Again I was so full of self pity that I couldn’t see the richness in what I already had. I sought only escape and dreamed of running away and starting my adult life all over again. I truly thought that a fresh start was the answer. Selfishly I didn’t care who I hurt or left behind as long as I could begin again. With each passing day I grew more and more depressed because I didn’t have the courage to do anything about it. My head kept telling me “go, go, go” but my heart wouldn’t let me. Funny, but in those dark moments I never once stopped to think that I didn’t have to run away to make a fresh start. It took a series of life events before I finally got it.
Today I look back on those darkest of days when I felt so isolated and alone, and know that I was never actually alone for even a single moment. Like the ad says, “We Are Not Alone.” Never! God was always there with me, residing within me. Patiently waiting for me to journey inward and discover Him and realize His love. Quietly sharing my burden, carrying me through. Yes, all those runaway thoughts I had and poor decisions I made, were mine and mine alone. It’s called free will my friend. God allows us to make our own choices. It’s how we learn, it’s how we grow. All those moments I spent blaming God for my own failings were such a waste of precious time, time I can never recapture. Was it time wasted? perhaps some of it was, but much of it was a part of my life lesson. Unfortunately I guess I’m a slow learner.
I’m reminded of the poem “footprints In the Sand” which is about God’s involvement in our every day lives.
If this poem is an indication of God’s love for each of us, then God carried me for quite some time and for a great distance! Thank you Lord, for loving me, for caring for me and for always being there for me, even when I was lost to despair. You showed me the Way. You are truly my God…
So remember my friends, even in the worst of times, the bleakest of moments, “We are not Alone.” “We are never alone.”
Just a thought…