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August 31, 2019

PBS has this incredible documentary called Alone in the Wilderness, it was about a guy – Dick Proenneke, who lived alone in the Alaskan wilderness.  He built his own house, used local resources to live off the land.  Survival type shows have been around for a bit – think Bear Grylls and Les Stroud.  However, Dick was like the original survivor.  Anyhow there is a series, a movie and a book about Dick’s life.  The videos are completely fascinating to watch.

I have often marveled at how much of an incredible experience that would be.  Head to Alaska and survive off the land.  Maybe make my own version of “Into the Wild”.  Though it would require lots of time alone.  I have done many solo runs, hikes, climbs, camping, etc.  I think I do just fine on these types of adventures, however going alone into something like what Dick did, is completely another thing.  Just because I think I could survive on my own, doesn’t mean I should.

Buck Mountain

Buck Mountain and a lonely moon – Glacier Peak Wilderness

Recently I have been reminded, that despite my own tendencies to “go it alone”, I need people, I need community.  Really it is how we were created.  Yes there is some excitement to going solo, but in the end we are not built to always been alone. Maybe I am just tired of feeling alone and lonely at points in my life.  It’s just not how we should feel and be.

Recently I was a leader for a Young Life Camp at Canyons, which is in Antelope, Oregon – aka the middle of nowhere, aka the site of the Rajneesh movement.  At first, I think I resisted the call to be a leader, but things seemed to align and felt that I was supposed to go.  Once again I learned that part of the reason I was supposed to go had nothing to do with the kids, but everything to do with me.  Most of the time when we are called to serve, we tend to think it’s all about those we are serving, however it is often more about the condition of our own hearts.  I digress as that has enough importance to be it’s own blog post.  So back on topic.  Here is a link to an older post of mine the talks about my connection and the importance of Young Life in my own life.

At Camp they had a singer named Clayton Jones who was there for the week.  A very talented musician.  Although his music is not typically the genre that I listen too, he really captivated me.  He talked about the meaning behind his original music.  Some deep, raw, beautifully intense stuff.

His Facebook page is here:

Listen to the song here:

Here are the lyrics from his song “Odd Man Out”:

“fifth week I’ve been home alone on a friday night
just watching the TV
in hopes that my phone will light up
but no body’s callin’
is it me thats the problem?
or did all my friends forget again that i exist?

I’m so tired of feelin’ like I’m standing outside the crowd
its like nobody thinks… nobody thinks I’m worth it
i ask God “how long is the lonely gonna last? or will i always be.. i always be the odd man out?”

i just don’t fit in
no, i’ve never been the kind
some people just walk in and the whole room begins to light up
guess I’m not wired that way
or but maybe thats okay
i accept myself even if no one else could give a damn

still I’m so tired of feeling like I’m standing outside the crowd
its like nobody thinks.. nobody thinks I’m worth it
i ask God “how long is the lonely gonna last? or will i always be.. i always be the odd man out?”

i ask God “how long is the lonely gonna last?”
He said “look at me, I’ve always been the odd man out””


It’s raw, it hits home, it’s good.  I think we all have had times when we felt, excluded, lonely, left out.  Alone in a room full of people – isolated from everyone, yet so close to community and to acceptance.  Yes, being the odd man out is difficult and really it’s a horrible place to be.  I am sure that we all can relate to feeling alone.

For me it is a reminder that sometimes, I choose the lonely road, I choose to be the Odd Man Out.  I think that because I can endure, because I can be alone. I fall into the trap of thinking this is how it’s supposed to be.  That my path, my journey is supposed to include loneliness – because I can endure, that being alone is simply part of my story.  We are not meant to be alone, we are not created to be lonely, we are not supposed to be the “odd man out”.  We were created to be in community, to be in a tribe, to have people around us to go through life together, to prop us up, to support us, to have our back, to protect us.  We are not supposed to do it alone.

Ecclesiastes 4:11-16 The Message (MSG)

11 Two in a bed warm each other.
Alone, you shiver all night.

12 By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.


Just because I can doesn’t mean that I should.   Just because I think, ok I know I could be alone in the wilderness and survive, doesn’t mean I should.  No one should feel lonely much less choose to be lonely.




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