Saturday, July 11, 2009

Are You Building A World of Solitude or Friendship?

It was a small hall of about 200 people, and I could see each individual present in the conference as I preached. Then I gazed and saw a young woman called Susanna sobbing. After the sermon, I walked straight to her and asked if I could help. She looked at me and broke down again: “you were the playback video of my life. Though a lawyer and married, I am lonely.” On Sunday September 4, 2005, at the end of an interview on Meet the Press, Broussard tells a heart wrenching story of a co-worker's mother that was trapped in a nursing home. She called four days in a row for help but help never came. She drowned Friday night! On Jan. 14, 1956, Albert Hitchcock, a 63-year-old World War I veteran was hit by a car and three months later he died of a pulmonary embolism. Hitchcock's niece collected $2,485 from his life insurance policy and had his body cremated through a South End funeral home. She abandoned the ashes ever since. Alongside them, the unclaimed ashes of another 100 souls -- some of whom died as long as six decades ago -- await a final disposition." How did they come to this solitary confinement?

Solitude is growing because success is measured by the villa, type of automobile and bank account we own. People now live to work instead of working to live. The substructure of happiness is strong intimate relationship which we lack. Many people are unshackled from poverty, but they are not happy. Solitary people cry or think a lot at night. They lack people to comfort them. Neither money nor sex makes people happy. If love was only sex then Hollywood would be in a better predicament. But if love was shoes, then Hollywood would charter all sizes. On the faces of most people, their lips sing joy, but they do not hear joyful voices in their hearts nor see them in their lives. Those who walk in solitude find no refuge because they lack true and loyal friends (Ps 107:4). Their friends are never faithful. Some even end up as enemies (Lam 1:2)

There is a Latin expression gratia gratiam parit meaning: “friendship begets friendship” or “kindness begets kindness”. It is the biblical equivalence of “a man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother “(Prov. 18:24). I took a class with some former colleagues who look like the people of Rip Van Winkle. They never initiated greetings and answered greetings in their throats or a nod. On the day of my presentation, I exposed on solitude as one of the factors favoring poor academic results in schools. The young teacher waited until she was sure I was alone then said: “gush, I am lonely”. “If you want friends, make yourself friendly,” I told her. It is difficult in a Freudian society like ours where two greetings: one when coming and another when leaving, are equated to “hitting on me.” The secret cure to solitude is friendship.

The inseparable bond in a true friendship is its loyalty. Hollywood and most marriages go kaput because they do not like the person within as friends, but they pursue the person without beautified by villas, cars and money. If they did that then when an Iago in Othello says “don’t you see Cassio departing from your wife” then the partner will say “they are just friends, colleagues because we knew ourselves as true friends before we married”. When Wickham in Pride and Prejudice tells Elizabeth that Darcy is wicked and proud and she refuses to date him without knowing Darcy personally it is called prejudice. Do you really know the people you want to or interact with or others tell you about them? Are you living like hermit with no religion?

There is the difference between solitude and quiet time. The former is cutting from social contacts while the latter is to seek a refill of spiritual power. Hard Times showed us that persistent friendship and love will overshadow any Gradgrind and only those who reject that love die in solitude like Bounderby. So let me ask you this: do you really have trustworthy friends or you live in solitude?

I read a story about a young man who was accused of stealing some goats punishable by decapitation. He swore his innocence to no avail and was finally jailed to be executed on a given day. The news reached his friend who came to the palace to testify on his innocence. The king to test their truthfulness told them that he would hold the witness as ransom and let go the accused so that he could look for the money to pay back his fine. If he came without the money, he would be killed, but if he did not come back, his friend will die in his place. The accused went to the city and tried to borrow money, but no one would lend him money. 5 minutes to the deadline, he showed up in the palace and told the king “I could not find the money. Though I did not do it, you kill me but free my friend”. The King concluded that such a man of loyalty could not have done such a thing and freed both men. Onlookers say it was a risk ,but his friend knew a man of loyalty will never disappoint him.

Would you be found alone like a pubic hair in a crime scene or in the hands of people surrounded by friends? I feel sad in my heart and tears  in my eyes each time i visited the nursing home. Deep in your heart, would you accept to be counted as a happy person or lonely individual? Let me whisper into your ears: plastic surgery may repair a damaged face, but a plastic smile will be insufficient for a miserable life. Therefore, look unto Jesus: he gives rest to those who labor and are heavy laden. Take his yoke, learn of Him: for He is meek and lowly in heart and there you will find rest unto your soul. Yes, His yoke is easy and his burden is light.

Until then, don’t build a world of solitude.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).

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