當你覺得孤單

By Robert J. Tamasy

我第一次去歐洲的旅行是難以忘懷的。因為我要到德國羅騰堡參加CBMC世界大會,我就安排提早一週抵達歐洲去拜訪住在匈牙利布達佩斯的叔叔和嬸嬸,他們是經驗豐富的旅行者。我的種族背景是匈牙利,我很興奮地要去看我祖父母出生的地方,也要短暫拜訪德國的吉森鎮(Giessen),那是我出生的地方,當時我父親在那裡的美國軍隊服役。

從美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大出發的航程很平順,但當我們降落在德國司圖加時,機長告訴我們飛機有機械上的問題,所以無法繼續飛行到布達佩斯。所有旅客都被巴士載到德國的法蘭克福,等待被安排搭乘另一個航班。

我從未覺得如此孤單。在去法蘭克福的巴士上,聽著人們熱烈地說著德文,我幾乎一個字也聽不懂。我心想:「我要如何搭飛機到布達佩斯?我的叔叔如何知道我何時會抵達布達佩斯?假如他不在那裡,我要怎麼辦?我也不會說匈牙利文!」

你可以想像,這第一次的國際旅行經驗讓我充滿焦慮的想法。最後我的所有擔憂都解決了。我與其他說英語的旅客聚在一起,有人指示我們哪家航空公司可以提供我們轉機;而當我抵達布達佩斯時,我那出生在美國,能說流利匈牙利文的叔叔就在那裡等我,雖然我延誤了許多小時後才抵達。

你曾經有類似的經驗嗎?可能那不是發生在旅行中,可能是發生在重大的工作企劃案中,你覺得被孤立,完全只能靠自己,沒有任何人可幫助。或者你在一個困難的個人事件中獨自掙扎──婚姻中的混亂、嚴重生病的孩子、令人不知所措的財務問題、或一個重大的職業危機。你有什麼感覺?對那情況你有什麼辦法?

你絕非真正的孤單。你可能身處在幾千人當中,卻覺得孤單。我們可能沒有看到一張熟悉的臉孔,但上帝應許祂的跟隨者,無論他們去哪裡,祂都會與他們同在。「你不要害怕,因為我與你同在;不要驚惶,因為我是你的 神。我必堅固你,我必幫助你;我必用我公義的右手扶持你」(以賽亞書41章10節)。

上帝絕不會丟棄你。在我們的生活中一定會遭遇不確定,有時甚至是可怕的時刻。但上帝應許與祂的子民同在,不論情況如何。「你們當剛強壯膽,不要害怕,也不要畏懼他們,因為耶和華─你的 神和你同去。他必不撇下你,也不丟棄你」(申命記31章6節)。

我們絕對無法逃避上帝的同在。有人說:「你可以跑,但你無法躲。」聖經說這在上帝也是如此。我們可能在一個不熟悉的大城市裡迷了路,孤單一人在旅館的房間,或在我們的辦公桌前覺得不知所措。無論我們在哪裡,上帝應許與我們同在。「我往哪裏去躲避你的靈?我往哪裏逃、躲避你的面?我若升到天上,你在那裏;我若在陰間下榻,你也在那裏」(詩篇139篇7-8節)。

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有40年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業:箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」(Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace)。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」(The Heart of Mentoring)。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com以及www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com 。

省思 / 討論題目
在你的生命中是否曾有一段時間覺得完全孤單,沒有任何你認識的人可以求助?那是怎樣的情況?那讓你有何感覺? 你是一個享受獨處的人,或是感覺有強烈的需要有人陪伴?請解釋你比較喜歡哪一種,而且為什麼? 聖經說,我們絕不會真正的孤單,因為上帝總是與我們同在。你對此有何看法?你相信這句話嗎?為什麼?若這是真的,這是好消息或壞消息? 聖經記錄許多時候耶穌選擇離開人群,獨自一人去與上帝說話。你是否曾訂出一段特別的時間去禱告,單獨與上帝在一起?若有,那是怎樣的情形?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
列王記上6章13節;馬太福音4章1-11節,26章36-44節,28章20節;馬可福音1章35-37節;希伯來書13章5節

WHEN YOU ARE FEELING ALONE
By Robert J. Tamasy

My first trip to Europe is one I will never forget. Since I was going to attend a CBMC World Convention in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, I had arranged to depart for Europe a week early and join my uncle and aunt in Budapest, Hungary, since they were seasoned travelers. Because my ethnic background is Hungarian, I was excited about seeing the country where my grandparents were born, as well as briefly visiting Giessen, Germany, where I was born while my father was serving in the U.S. Army.

The flight from Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. was uneventful, but when we landed in Stuttgart, Germany the pilot advised us the jet was having mechanical problems and could not complete the trip to Budapest. Instead, all passengers were shuttled to Frankfurt, Germany to arrange for an alternative flight.

I never felt so alone. On the bus to Frankfurt, listening to people speak in animated German, I hardly understood a word. “How will I figure out how to get a flight to Budapest?” I wondered. “And how will my uncle know when I arrive in Budapest? If he is not there, what will I do? I cannot speak Hungarian either!”

As you can imagine, this first international experience filled me with anxious thoughts. Eventually, all of my concerns were resolved. I gravitated toward other English-speaking travelers; we were able to receive directions about which airline would provide our connecting flight; and when I arrived in Budapest, my American-born uncle, who spoke fluent Hungarian, was waiting even though I was several hours late.

Have you ever experienced anything like that? Maybe it did not involve travel, but you might have been in the midst of a major project at work and felt isolated, totally alone without anyone to ask for help. Or you might have been struggling with a difficult personal matter by yourself – turmoil in your marriage, a seriously ailing child, overwhelming financial problems, or a major career crisis. How did you feel? And what did you do about the situation?

I have learned the Bible offers helpful assurances for what we should do in those “all alone” moments:

You are never truly alone.
We can be in a crowd of thousands, yet feel totally alone. We might not see one familiar face, but God promises His followers no matter where they go, He will be with them. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

God will never abandon you. During our lifetimes we inevitably will confront uncertainty, sometimes even terrifying moments. But God promises to remain with His children, regardless of circumstances. “Be strong and courageous. So not be afraid or terrified…for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

We can never escape the presence of God. There is a saying, “You can run, but you cannot hide.” The Bible says this is true with God. We may be lost in the midst of a huge, unfamiliar city, alone in a hotel room, or at our desk at work, feeling overwhelmed. No matter where we are, God promises to be there for us. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there” (Psalm 139:7-10).

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt totally, utterly alone without one person you could turn to that you knew? What was that situation like for you? How did it make you feel? Are you a person that enjoys having time alone, or one that feels a strong need to be around people as much as possible? Explain which of those you prefer – and why. What is your reaction to the statements from the Bible that we are never truly alone, that God is always with us? Do you believe that? Why or why not? And if that is true, does it seem like good news – or bad news? The Bible records several instances in which Jesus chose to go off by Himself to speak with God. Have you ever chosen to set aside specific time to pray and be alone with God? If so, what has that been like for you?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: 1 Kings 6:13; Matthew 4:1-11, 26:36-44, 28:20; Mark 1:35-37; Hebrews 13:5

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