Sinking as far as the leather recliner would allow, chin lifted, eyes wide, my mind flashed to the summer of 1999 in a galaxy far, far away, in which I first captured the iconic golden movie title stretching across the big screen. I refocused my attention to the pile of popcorn sitting proudly on my lap. I sat in pitch-black silence, waiting impatiently for the familiar crescendo to commence.
Dunnnnnnn da da dunnnnnn….
Two hours of laughter, tears and an angry bladder later, I finally saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wow, what a cinematic childhood dream come true.
A friend encouraged me earlier that week with this idea: “What if today was your one day to do the thing you’ve been wanting to do? Would you do it? Or would you let the opportunity pass you by if you knew you’d be doing it alone?”
As a single girl in my mid-twenties, I shouldn’t hold back on something I’ve been wanting to do just because I don’t have a significant other to document my Instagram or Snapchat story with. Sure it would be nice to explore new countries, converse at a coffee shop, or see a movie with that special someone, but I shouldn’t let the fear of adventuring alone dictate my forecast for the day.
So the following Monday I thought, “Why not treat myself to some popcorn, Coke and a light saber battle?”
Even if both sides of my arm rest felt a little lonely, going (Han) solo to the movies felt courageous. I set my pride aside and embraced a movie ticket for one. Instead of comparing my solitary seat with the other families and couples, I decided to create comradery with the strangers around me. All of us in the audience cheered, gasped and laughed throughout the movie as one big Rebel Alliance family.
Author and theologian Tim Keller wrote, “Wouldn’t you like to be the skater who wins the silver, and yet is thrilled about those three triple jumps that the gold medal winner did?”
– The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness: The Path To True Christian Joy
In other words, celebrate those around you instead of complaining when you’re riding solo.
Ever since my cinematic adventure, God has given me the confidence to embrace opportunities in which I wouldn’t have a plus-one by my side. He has taught me to welcome independence with a deep dependence on himself.
In addition, God so sweetly reminded me that I never have to fear experiencing life alone: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
God is my forever tagged friend, no filter needed.
So whether it’s visiting that coffee shop, traveling to that country you’ve been dreaming of visiting, or watching that Oscar-winning movie, don’t let an opportunity pass you by if you know you’ll be adventuring alone. Spend one-on-one time with God. He’s already with you. He’s always with you.
words by Ashley Tripp and photo by Sarah Mohan