Letter #4 – Reliance

Posted on 15. Nov, 2011 by in God

Letter #4 – Reliance
From: Brett Trapp – Nov 15, 2011
To: Brett Trapp – Nov 15, 2001

Dear Brett,

I’m up in the mountains right now, about an hour north of Atlanta. I’m staying in a one bedroom cabin with faded pictures of bears and floors made of compressed wood. There’s a fog hovering over the mountains in the distance. It’s raining.

I’m here to clear my head, recalibrate life, and ponder my last few days in my 20s.

Did I just write that? “my last few days in my 20s.” It’s surreal.

An extroverted friend said this week, “Are you crazy? Three days in the mountains by yourself? I’d be miserable!”

Lots of people would be miserable. Not us. We love it.

Brett, the Myers-Briggs tests you’ve taken are right. You’re an introvert. Being an introvert simply means that you “recharge” from being by yourself. 95% of the people you know wouldn’t believe that. The other 5%–the ones who really know you–would agree wholeheartedly. Yes, you’re socially adroit and have lots of friends, but you enjoy the creativity and deep thinking that solitude brings to your soul. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you dislike people or always want to be alone. In fact, you go crazy when you’re by yourself too much! But aloneness, in moderation, is something you need. With grease gun and drill in hand, God geared you this way.

But Brett, as with all matters of internal gearing, this comes with a warning. Your introverted bent is going to be fueled in the coming years by a society obsessed with independence. Everything has already begun to change and will change even more in the next ten years. Amazing advances in technology are going to make us all the gods of our own domains. Where we had to rely on educators and bosses and preachers in the past, we’re now able to find all that for ourselves. All those old barriers that separated us commonfolk from information are going to burn in a massive fire sparked by American innovation. We’ll have free and open access to anything we want to know. With a computer, anyone will be able to do anything, be anyone, create what they want to create. Average Joe’s will lead movements from their cellphones. Every pinch of inconvenience will be eliminated from our American lives thanks to all these advances. I’m not kidding here, Brett. Nor am I exaggerating.

Now let me interject, much of this is great! There are lots of magical things happening that make life better. But in this new age where we all get to be our own spelunkers of truth, we’re losing something as well–


Reliance on mentors for wisdom. Reliance on friends for comfort. Reliance on family for support. Humans aren’t designed to be one-man power plants, generating everything we need for life independently. We need others in a bad way.  We need God in a bad way.

Remember when Jesus said it’s easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than it is for him to get to heaven? You know why Jesus said that? Because he knew that when humans get rich they get unreliant. Instead, they become self-reliant. Well today, though some are rich financially, everyone‘s rich on information and opportunity. And I fear the glut of those two resources are making us less God-reliant, less people-reliant, and more self-reliant. What we’re witnessing today, Brett, is a revolution of self-reliance. And it’s fundamentally changing the way we do life.

Brett, I’m not sure if this is a problem for extroverts. But I know that in the next ten years, it will be a problem for you. Brett, need others. Lean on others. Rely on others. You can’t be that for yourself. You can’t find that on a glowing screen.

I hope this letter isn’t a copy and paste when I’m turning 40.


Remember this, Brett.


P.S. Most jaw-dropping, unbelievable, fact about your future self? You’ll like country music.

One Response to “Letter #4 – Reliance”

  1. Stephlchurch

    15. Nov, 2011

    Yes, it’s a problem for extroverts as well. Had never really thought about the past decade fueling self-reliance in this manner; you’re completely right.

Leave a Reply