I have simplified my life more than ever but still feel too busy! Seems like my life just keeps moving at breakneck speed. And I wonder if I am making progress in the key areas. Can you relate? Lately, I have been doing a half time assessment (hard to believe I am 45) and one of the areas I would like to do differently my second half is in the area of friendships. The first half of my life I have acquired a lot of friends (at least a lot of acquaintances) but sometimes I get depressed about how many people I know and yet wonder if I really know what is going on in the life of anyone. I know that very few know what’s going on with me (someone would have to ask me a question to figure out what is going on, which never happens). If I moved to California and had a mover move me how long would it take for people to realize that I was gone. I saw a friend at church the other day and they were commenting on how long it had been since they had seen us and I thought to myself “I have been going to another church for over 6 months!” (actually a new service at our church on a different night) We could have been in California and they wouldn’t have even known it!
I called a friend of mine the other day (who has been going through hell the last 6 months), when he answered he said “you won”. When I asked him what he meant he said he decided he was going to see who would call him with no initiative on his part. The crazy thing about that is that I had thought and even prayed for him several times over the past few month and thought I need to call him but thought I had the wrong phone number. I finally called his parents to get his number. Is it possible that God was prompting me to call him because he needed to talk with someone. I have another friend of mine who is great at this. When he gets in his car he calls people who he is thinking about. Many, many times he has called and encouraged me. He is one of the reasons I do that from time to time. The thing I learned from him was using my little windows of time to build friendship and catchup. Use your cell phone when you are in the car, send a brief email to check in and heaven forbid have an actual meal together. These are all great simple ways to reconnect!
Now don’t get me wrong! I am not gripping about being lonely and I am not feeling sorry for myself. I just think that time is sneaking by and the friendships I have and value are not being cultivated. A brutal evaluation of my time with friends has helped me see that there is a problem. The sad part is that I think my experience is pretty common. (let me know if I am the only one). Every once and a while I hear of friends who have dinner with other friends or go on vacation with other friends and I am envious. Down right jealous! I don’t know about you but I grow weary of the old cliche of “we need to get together sometime”. I was listening to a podcast the other day and the guy was talking about someone whose goal in friendship was pretty simple: he wanted to have 8 friends close enough to carry his casket without looking at their watches. Wow! Who will carry your casket if you kicked it today! I still have a few handle to fill!