As we grow older our friendships do change.
We get busy with so many activities and conflicting schedules.
We become tired. True rest and refreshment becomes a thing of the past.
We forget what it’s like to play – to laugh – to focus in on the moment.
We let life do the driving.
We build up barriers too. At the very least, we fail to recognize the ones that are already in place and destroy them. You know the ones I mean? The ones that we put up around ourselves years and years ago. The ones that keep us from being a friend to others.
We may have never even noticed that we did it.
Why do we limit ourselves when it comes to becoming friends with others as we grow and change? Why do we allow life to drive us and the first thing that is then forsaken is time with God and fellowship (without barriers) with one another? Then, that very thing – that busy-ness of life – well, it becomes the greatest barrier to closeness and friendship of all. We start to feel uncomfortable because we’ve isolated ourselves for so very long.
We stop relating.
Instead of giving up because the notion of friendship as it was when we were children is no longer in existence, why don’t we adjust and embrace the way our friendships can be now instead? Why don’t we decide to be intentional about it, get creative, and go after it? Why don’t we take the excuses away, smash the barriers, and open ourselves up to more?
Why are we afraid?
What do we do to get to know those who are in our world? Do we seize the moment – those snippets in time to connect with another, or do we just let time pass right on by?
It will pass, you know. Rapidly.
Before we know it, years have gone by. Are we all willing to say at the end of the day, “well, I did my best to keep up with my schedule, all the tasks and things to do, please the bill collectors, keep the house clean, and make everyone else’s schedule and agenda or things they need ticked off their list nice and tidy?”
Are we willing to take our last breath knowing we didn’t make relationship the most important thing while we were here?
There’s a certain degree of structure and responsibility we must adhere to (I guess) if we are going to live in this crazy world of ours. But I have to say that I find there is quite a bit of “stuff” that is truly unnecessary and I am asking God to give me discernement as to what those things are. Then, I need the courage to say no to those things.
Funny how at church service tonight one of the things that was discussed that struck me to the core was about simplifying our lives so we can make room for what should be our top priority anyway:
God and people.
I want to spend my time and effort doing that which is truly meaningful. Sure, right now, my husband and I are choosing to work to make an income, and we can do that work as unto the Lord. But we can build and grow friendships while we are doing that too. We just haven’t been for about the last 20 years or so.
Sometimes we just have to get creative in this world to keep our priorities straight.
You know – maybe the days of spending eight hours in a row with a friend and building mud pies are truly over as we grow older and have our own children to care for (so that they can be free to explore such friendships or activities). I get that. But I am committed to doing all I can to use each moment possible to connect with other people and build friendships where I’m at.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I’m tired of it being nothing.
We must be intentional about this, or it’s never going to happen. The last twenty years have proven that to me without question. But we also need divine intervention if we are going to be successful – if we are really going to make this our first priority in life.
Jesus and people. Yah, I need God’s help.
If you feel the same way and this is a desire of your own heart, won’t you join me in asking the Lord to help you get creative and find ways to have meaningful moments with others that make a lasting impression or change in their lives. You may find that your own life is enriched as well. I sure have found that I am enjoying other people’s company now that I have opened myself back up to it.
It’s nice to see Jesus in the eyes and actions, thoughts and words, behaviors and experiences of others.
But best of all, the Lord asks us to love one another and tells us that His joy is made complete when we do so. He asks us not to forsake fellowship with others. And in being intentional about community and friendship, we have more and more opportunities to nurture this in life, bringing joy to our wonderful Savior. If He commands it, don’t we think He will help us to do it?
I want to bring joy to Jesus.
Let’s stop limiting ourselves, or even our wonderful and Mighty Savior in this way, friends. Let’s give Him the praise He deserves and ask Him for His help every step of the way.
Look for Jesus in others and be a friend. Take away the preconceived notions, or the all or nothing boundaries about what friendship is (i.e. “I don’t have enough time, so I just won’t do it at all”) and open yourself up to a new kind of friendship – right where you are at.
Enrich your friendship with Jesus all the more by being a friend to His other sons and daughters.
He’s a friend to us, a compassionate, mighty, and powerful One indeed. He made other sons and daughters, our own brothers and sisters to exist right alongside of us for good reason. We should take advantage of the blessings of family.
No man was ever meant to be an island. We were meant to be friends and family in Christ Jesus.
“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” C.S. Lewis
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” C.S. Lewis
Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10