This Night with my Maker
I’m writing this on a Friday night. One mile north of me, on a street down which I walk every day, students are swarming. They are drunk in celebration of another week passing without any major catastrophes. They are happy for the most part, and if they aren’t, they’re trying to be.
That street is a loud place tonight despite the innate quiet of the hour. It’s brimming with people, and one would be hard pressed to be alone. Everybody is everybody’s friend after the fifth or sixth beer. The people there actively seek to draw those walking by into their revelry. Lights flash. A dull, low beat pounds away in the background, making everything seem as if it’s not quite real–as if what’s happening tonight is nothing but the byproduct of a headache pounding away in one’s temple to the beat of one’s heart.
Me? I had a night alone. I had a night that began as a lonely one.
At 6 PM, I crawled out from under my little mountain of homework and went in search of dinner. Normally I eat later than that, but everything on campus closes early on Fridays. It’s a policy that makes sense. After all, what kind of loser would remain on campus to eat on a Friday night? Successful in my quest for food, I sat down in the student center and got a little writing done over dinner. Not much was accomplished, though. People-watching absorbed far too much of my attention.
Everybody there was either coming or going. The student center tonight was nothing but a place to grab a bit of food and move onwards. Each person had their little clique of friends around them, and each clique had a destination in mind for the remainder of the evening. I remained alone.
When Friday nights come, I almost never have plans. What is there to do in a town this size on a Friday night for somebody who doesn’t drink–who has no real interest in the party scene whatsoever. Friday nights are often a lonely time for me.
I’m not complaining. These nights are some of the most productive ones I have. Who needs revelry when your buried six feet deep in books? Who needs to drink when you can write instead? A part of me still longs for companionship on this night when everybody seems to have at least five friends surrounding them, but I tell that part to shut up, and it usually complies.
Doused in self-pity, an all-together dangerous and dishonorable emotion, I wandered back to my dorm. For a while, I didn’t do much, and then I picked up my Bible. It was entirely by chance. I was moving it in order to access the jar of peanut butter upon which it was sitting, but then I figured, as long as I have it in my hands, I might as well read; it’s not as if I had anything better to do.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
God, as always, knew exactly what I needed.
I looked over and saw my keytar leaning up against the wall. Pulling it out, I cranked up my boombox and began singing the glories of the Holy One, who loves even me, wretch that I am. I sang His praises until 1 AM. It was a good Friday night.