Yesterday I wrote about all the reasons why I hate October.
I didn’t mention that I hate October because it’s always a reminder that the Cubs aren’t very good at baseball. The Cubs haven’t made the postseason for six years and the last time they were in it they got swept out of the first round.
This year I’m feeling a little left out. So many of my friends are Dodgers and Angels fans. I have friends who are Orioles fans and my father-in-law is a Tigers fan. Everyone around me still has a team alive and I’m celebrating the fact that the Cubs didn’t lose 90 games.
No one likes feeling left out. Unfortunately nerds really know what it feels like to get left out.
Nerds get picked last for dodge ball.
Nerds don’t get invited to the popular kids’ birthday parties.
Nerds eat their lunches alone in the library.
We’ve all either been the nerd or seen the nerd, sitting alone, getting left out. And whether we consider ourselves nerds or not, we all know what it feels like to get left out.
Hopefully we all reach a point in our lives, though, where we find friends who accept us and don’t leave us out. It’s been a really long time since I’ve felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk to. I’ve got a loving wife, committed friends and concerned coworkers. In fact, at this point in my life, if I really feel left out it’s probably my fault.
When we’re little it’s easy to feel left out by the popular kids or friends who don’t want to hang out with us. As we get older, though, as we find people with whom we can be open and honest, it’s easier to feel like we belong. But sometimes instead of wanting to belong, we want to withdraw. Instead of investing in relationships and opening up our lives, we want distance ourselves from friends and family.
We can pull away for a lot of reasons.
We can have unaddressed sin in our lives.
We can have unresolved conflict in a relationship.
We can be too overwhelmed by work and other responsibilities to invest in our relationships.
If we feel left out because someone picks us last for dodge ball or our baseball team sucks, then that’s fine. But, as far as we’re concerned, we should do everything we can to pursue authentic relationships with people who love us and want what’s best for us.
How do you stay engaged with friends and family?