Many people feel isolated. Though we live in a very connected world, many of the ways we connect are only superficial. It sometimes seems that the world sees us without knowing us, or that the world keeps us moving all the time without ever giving us a sense of purpose. Human beings were designed to form communities, and designed to find fulfillment in communities. When we lack a sense of genuine connection with other human beings, we usually have an inescapable feeling that something we need is missing.
God does not want anyone to feel alone. His plan is to lead us to a community in which we will find an unshakable sense of belonging—a community in which our spirit recognizes that it is home. In this community we’ll find purpose, because we’ll be contributing to the whole. We’ll be serving other people in a way that is needed and appreciated. And our neighbors, in turn, will take care of us. This kind of community is God’s ideal. In fact, this kind of community is heaven. In the next life, everybody lives among people whose hearts and spirits are like their own, and this is part of what makes heaven so joyful.
While we live on earth, it can be harder to find true community. People too often keep their hearts guarded. Sometimes people are not who they seem to be. On top of that, we don’t always have a good sense of who we truly are ourselves. But there are ideas that can help us, and there are things we can do to take steps towards the place that God wants us to be.
The most useful idea to hold onto is that you are never, in fact, alone. God is always with us, though we cannot see Him or feel Him. When we speak to Him, He hears us. He loves every single human being, and will never for a single moment forget you or turn His face away from you. Similarly, there are angels present with every one of us, watching over us. Angels are simply human beings who have lived good lives and been received into heaven. Because they’re loving people, they love welcoming people into their homes and into their communities. They love being with us, even though we rarely know they’re there.
Service is a Foundation for Connection
Something we can do that can help us feel more connected is find a way to serve other people. True community is founded on service. When everyone in a community looks outside of themselves, seeking a way to serve, then everybody is seen, and everybody is taken care of. That’s what makes a community strong. The New Church teaches that true joy is found in a life of useful service (see the section “Happiness comes when we invite God into our lives…” on our spiritual concepts page). It’s when we look outside of ourselves that we give God the opportunity to lead us towards the community we’ve been seeking.
Companions on Your Spiritual Journey
A final thought is that churches are designed to be places in which people can find and share real community. Churches are not perfect. People who go to church are human beings, and every human being has problems. In some ways, this is exactly why people go to church: because they know that they have problems, and they want to learn to live as God teaches, and they want companions to share the journey with. It’s a lot easier to live a good live with good companions than it is to live a good life alone. A church whose members understand that we’re all journeying together towards something better can be an answer to loneliness.