You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor.
2 Corinthians 8:9
It was the summer of 1992, and a man by the name of Christopher McCandless had just come to a startling conclusion. It’s a conclusion he likely never expected to reach.
For much of his life, Christopher McCandless had wanted to be alone. He dreamed of living a solitary life, free from obligations to others; free from the responsibilities that come with ties to family and friends; free from the complications of human relationships. His passion to live this way was so great that he was willing to sacrifice all he had to experience it.
And so in 1990, after graduating from college, Christopher walked away. He walked away from his family relationships. He walked away from his ties with friends. As he did, he began his new life—his new life as a vagabond, traveling about the country, working odd jobs as needed along the way.
He found the experience thrilling. His desire to be alone grew. He hitchhiked his way to Alaska, and there he pursued what he must have seen as a dream-come-true. With little equipment or expertise, he walked into the Alaskan wilderness, determined to live off the land and to be alone.
He kept a diary and took pictures to record his adventure. For a time, he seemed convinced that this was the way to live, and that this solitary life was worth all he had sacrificed.
But then, in the summer of 1992, alone, in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, Christopher came to what must have been a jarring conclusion. His diary proclaims that conclusion in five words. In his diary he wrote, “Happiness only real when shared.”
“Happiness only real when shared.” After all that he had sacrificed to be alone, Christopher had discovered that, for him, to be alone was not the answer. But now it was too late. His body had grown weak from physical problems. He was too weak to walk back out. He died alone.
Jesus once sacrificed all that he had. He gave up the full use of his power and glory as God in order to live and die as a human being. He made that sacrifice, however, not in some quest to be alone. He made that sacrifice so that he could be with us, and we could be with him. He did what had to be done to break down the barriers of our sin. He did what had to be done so that you and I would never have to be alone.
Through faith in Jesus, we are not.
Thank you, Lord, for my moments of solitude. But even then, remind me that simple aloneness is not the answer. You are. Amen.
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