Many people have lost there way. Even worse is the truth that many people never knew where to go in the first place. We live in an isolated and separated world where American individualism can warp into blaming others for their failures instead of lending a hand.. A recent patient visit serves as a vivid illustration of what young people need and what we can give.
He is in his 40's. He has multiple health conditions, most a direct result of terrible life choices. He is not well educated, but he has a strong sense of responsibility and a good work ethic, which is unusual for someone who is a recovering addict. He works close to 60 hours a week to support his family, a schedule he must maintain as his lack of skills means low paying jobs.
Yet he keeps plugging away. He considers himself a Christian, as he made some sort of commitment at some sort of church event in the past. This event was not followed by any mentoring or discipleship, so he has not progressed in his faith, but he still believes.
What faith he did have was all that was keeping him in his marriage, that and his love for his son. He told me that his love for his wife had vanished long ago, and that he was ready to call it quits. He could see no reason to go on.
As we talked I realized he desperately needed a friend and a mentor, someone to come along and disciple him in the faith, teach him what it meant to be a man, pray for him and encourage him.
I also realized I had no idea of how to arrange this!. The church I currently attended did not have any discipleship programs or classes, nor did any of the churches I had attended in the past. I had no place to send him.
Kind of sad, isn't it? We have reached a point in our society where too many people are left to struggle on their own, trying to figure it all out for themselves. Where did we lose our way? When did we lose our way?
I am reminded of the words of the Proverb-
"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.
28 Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,"
When you have it with you. "
Those of us who have figured out life, who have learned what success requires, are obligated to share it. In part because of my interaction with this patient I have started regularly meeting with a group of young men. Once a month we hang out for a few hours and talk about the deeper things in life. It is only 8 young men once a month, but it is 8 young men once a month! What a difference could be made if we looked for opportunities to help out and guide those for whom life was such a struggle!
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