While Don Quixote’s valor bordered on insanity, sometimes the battles we engage seem just as real in our own minds. This famous American idiom, “fighting the windmills,” has become known to mean, “fighting imaginary evils.” Don Quixote waged war against the windmills that he perceived to be GIANTS.
This blog post is flawed from the very start. As soon as I mention the “windmill” I’m referencing, you’ll say, “that’s not imaginary…that’s REAL.” In every regard, the battle is real, but it is often inflated to becoming a GIANT in our lives if we fail to recognize the gifts that God has placed in our lives.
That “windmill” is loneliness.
There were many DIRECT blessings that were evident while serving across Eastern Europe. As we partnered with leaders, pastors, and churches, we were able to celebrate new playgrounds, a soccer field, community centers, sidewalks, and even dredged a river in one community. These were very visible. These were impactful. These were collaborative. '
These types of projects both energized and served as a tool to infuse renewed hope into communities. It was invigorating to be a part of these projects.
But one of the greatest INDIRECT blessings that emerged was a resonating message to the pastors of these partner churches; “YOU ARE NOT ALONE.”
Many of the people that we work with are under-resourced and often struggling to push through the constant economic challenges, persecution, societal apathy, secularism, and cultural pressures.
There is life-giving hope that comes from knowing you are not alone. I had the joy of hosting 22 teams over my first term in Europe. Each of them uniquely comprised of individuals, with different gifts and personalities, yet were brought together at a God-ordained time and place. The synergistic partnerships induced life-altering experiences—both for the visiting teams and the local organizations with which we partnered.
Whether you are in a secluded village off of the beaten path or you’re in an urban center with thousands of people, loneliness can sink in and skew your perspective. Regardless of your geographic location, the feeling of loneliness can leave you in a place of despair.
TAKE HEART! You might feel alone, but I can assure you—YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are people who love you. There are people facing similarly difficult circumstances. There are even people AROUND you that feel alone too.
If I could come to YOUR house with a group of random, quirky Americans, I would come and remind you that God knows exactly where you are and He loves you. If you are feeling alone—you don’t have to live in that place. Reach out to someone you trust. Reach out to ME. Go to church—Go serve at a local food pantry—Go meet a friend for coffee.
Loneliness will soon lose its grip as a GIANT and you might just find the windmill to be beautiful. God has placed people in your world that are truly gifts to you. Will you receive? Will you reach out? Will you slay the windmill today?
We were created for relationship. We were created to be together.