I Used to Think…

dscf0086-cropped-2.jpg   Why is it that you can be close friends with someone and then something happens and that friendship sputters and dies? How could two people be so important to each other at one point in life, and then they just don’t seem to make time for each other anymore? What happened? How do you fix it? Should you fix it?

I used to think there was such a thing as “lifelong friends.”  The kind you know, cherish, nurture, reinforce, support, appreciate, and “do life with” together, from the time you meet until one of you dies.  I also used to think that each and every ruptured relationship required repairs – sometimes even “heroic measures.” 

I don’t think that any more.

Distance, moves, disruptions, neglect, misunderstandings, family issues, busyness, unresolved conflict and our mobile, “Lone Ranger” culture often mitigate against “lifelong friends.”  Ditto plain ‘ole self-centered myopia.   With so many options, events, and issues constantly clamoring for our time and attention, it’s a wonder any relationship lasts more than a couple years.  Some people just give up, exhausted.  Others hit some rough spots and quit trying.  

Clutching at a dying friendship may be like trying to keep dying embers alive – you wind up with a dead fire as well as scorched fingers.  Could it be that instead of “lifelong friends,” God may bring people into our lives, across our paths for certain seasons and specific reasons?  

We’re all in different stages in our life journey.  I think God uses different people to help us mature, grow, and learn at different points in our lives according to His plan.  Different people for different stages.  When a friend chooses to leave your life (for whatever reason) or a once-blooming garden of friendship becomes overgrown with the weeds of neglect and indifference, it may not only be necessary but prudent and healthy to let go.  The void left by that fizzled friendship, though painful and perhaps disappointing, is not “terminal.”  It is filled by our friendship with our Creator, who invented the concept of friendship in the first place.

***

See you next time at The Gift of Loneliness.

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