Q: I took a good job after I graduated from college a year ago, but I had to relocate to a big city, and now I’m really lonely. Why are cities such lonely places? Or is it only me? – Z.F.
A: No, it’s not only you; I’ve often received letters from people like you who have discovered just how lonely a city can be. Just because we’re surrounded by people doesn’t mean we aren’t lonely. On one occasion the Psalmist cried out, “I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof” (Psalm 102:7).
Why are cities so lonely? One reason, I’ve found, is because everyone seems preoccupied with his or her ambition or concern, and that leaves little room for true friendship. Others are afraid of getting too close to anyone, out of fear of being rejected or taken advantage of. Still others simply don’t want to be bothered with anyone; they want to be free to pursue their own interests.
But no matter the reasons, learn to reach out to others; don’t wait for them to reach out to you. Be friendly with those you work with, expressing an interest in their lives and concerns (although without intruding). You may find some of them are just as lonely as you are. Don’t seek friendships, however, in the wrong way or in the wrong places.
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The most important step you can take is to commit your life to Jesus Christ. We are never alone when we know him, for he is always with us. In addition, ask him to lead you to a church where you’ll not only grow in your faith but you’ll have opportunities to meet other people. Many city churches, in fact, have special programs to help people like you get acquainted.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.