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Travelling Again

February 11, 2012

I’ve been travelling again. And one of the things I noticed this time was the the fact of being alone, very alone. To say my French and German were poor would be a huge compliment to my language skills. So abroad I am in a bubble of isolation most of the time I’m not with colleagues. Perhaps that was the difference this time. For most of the week I was travelling and having meetings mostly alone.


Now I like my own company I like to be able to hear my own thoughts and perhaps to hear God. But it was strange to physically be among so many people while still being so isolated, cut off from my fellow humanity. I could say ‘hello, please and thank you’ , but not have a proper conversation. I can smile, and sometimes I rely on my multi-lingual finger that can point at hotel and street names. But still I am alone.


Then when I returned to the UK I heard on the radio that research has found that loneliness is one of the most serious health problems for people as they get older. Family move away, friends die or become too infirm to meet regularly. Loneliness, I heard can be a killer.


We seem created to be social. To talk, and laugh and cry with other people. Something deep in our humanity yearns for company. And the more I think about it, the problem is huge. It is not only the elderly that suffer, it is not only human company that we crave. We all suffer when separated from our creator.


He, [Jesus], is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created


That is the wisdom of God. We are created to be part of, one with our creator. We are created with an inbuilt drive for a relationship with that creator. This drive, is basic to who we are as human beings; As basic as the drive, to eat, and to reproduce. It is hard-wired into us. Whether we realise it or not we are programmed to search for what we instinctively know that need: God.


Without that relationship we are less than we should be. We are spiritually and socially malnourished. Starved of the relationship with our creator that can make sense of all the rest. It is only in that deep relationship with our creator that we can ever make real sense of the created world in which we live.


After all: All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.


All things came into being through him: even you – even me – even the awkward neighbour – even the crazy person on the train who insists on sitting next to you. Even the idiot who tipped my own coffee over me! They all came into being through the God we know as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Because, without him not one thing came into being. Not one thing, not a person, not a dog, cat, bird, tree, house, train, hotel…. nothing came into being without the Creator God. But so many people are blind to this fact. Blind to their basic nature as human beings. The basic nature that knows, instinctively knows, that we can never be whole, without a relationship with our creator. We can never find meaning , without a relationship with our creator.


So many people are blind to this knowledge, this wisdom at the heart of the universe. But they are not ignorant of its effects. They still feel a yearning – a pull towards something – but they don’t know what that something is. And so that yearning is filled with so many other things. But other things, distract, they ease the pain, but they do not treat the basic underlying condition. Nothing but a knowledge and a relationship with the creator, Wisdom itself, can ever truly satisfy. And even there we are are still drawn further and further into the mystery that is God. That basic inbuilt need for God, drives us to need more.


So, I’ll be off on my travels again next week. I will be isolated again by the language barrier. I will have time to think, and read and work. But I will never be truly alone, never truly lonely. I can never be truly isolated from the Creator, in whom I live and move and have my being.

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