“My friend card is full.” It was a line I’d overheard years ago and tucked in my pocket. Moving into a year of life “on pause,” it was the banner I wanted hung over my door.
What was the point of befriending anyone? It would be just a year and when I returned, my friends would welcome me back into the fold.
Would anyone want to invest in a temporary friend? Once they discovered I was just passing through, they wouldn’t bother.
So, I wouldn’t bother.
That was my attitude. A real life-of-the-party.
This scarcity mentality might be appropriate if people were things. You have limited room in a closet. You can fit only so many cars in a garage and only so much food in a fridge. You can buy only so many things with a paycheck.
But, people are different.
People take varying amounts of time, energy, commitment. People are not a one-size-fits-all venture. People can be present for a season. People can influence me well beyond our togetherness.
My “full friend card” plan began to crumble. Friendship wasn’t limited to convenience and presence, stability and shared experience. It might get started that way. But, even a short-term friendship can have long-term impact.
Friend card full or not, I was beginning to embrace this new perspective.
I looked at the things God encourages his followers to invest in on this earth: Himself, the Bible and people. Those things last forever. If this world we live in is passing away, yet God insists it’s worth building relationships, it must be because those relationships can have permanent impact.
The thing I thought least worth investing in turned out to be the thing most worth investing in.
People have impacted me in significant ways. Some friendships will last. Some will fade. Some will wobble up, down and around unpredictably.
But it doesn’t diminish that we have mutually impacted each other in significant ways. Some have been in the right place at the right time for what was needed in that moment. Others have made a mark in a way that will outlast the present. And others I will carry with me while they keep affecting me in real time.
I expected people to get in the way this year. And they did. Turns out, that’s what I need.
I need people to ask questions I’m not asking, to speak words I’m not thinking, to offer perspective I’m not seeing, to suggest ideas I’m not imagining, to be all the things I’m not.
People ended up getting in the way. People ended up reshaping the way. People ended up making the way meaningful. People ended up making the year valuable. People ended up being worth it.
Worth the inconvenience of blazing new relationships.
Worth the un-surety of future connectedness.
Worth the inevitability of goodbyes and transitions.
Worth the un-comfortability of dancing with short-term realities.
In #notmyhome, it’s the investment of a lifetime.
Part 1: Passing Through
Part 2: Homesicking
Part 3: Purposing
Part 4: Familiaring
Part 5: Identifying
Part 6: Hoarding
Part 7: Simplifying
[This post is #8 in the #notmyhome series]
Part 9: Sojourning
Part 10: Borrowing
Part 11: Departing
Part 12: Reflecting