It was fitting, in retrospect, that she talked about friends since we are on session five and it deals with our fellow pilgrims on the pilgrimage. One thing that I did enjoy was that she said we should learn to stand together with our brothers and sisters in Christ rather than standing divided because our beliefs might vary in the slightest bit. This made me think of life here. I have friends who are Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, and the list could go on and on. But you know what matters most to me? That they believe in Jesus and they believe in God. It doesn't matter to me if you submerge or sprinkle for baptism. I don't believe in Heaven there are little communities where the different churches will live. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
But back to the subject of friendships. She brought up the point that in this day of instant messaging, text messaging, emails and so forth, life is lonely. I wrote this very thing in my notes:
We are too busy being in touch with so many people that we are starved for something with depth.Now this just really spoke to me because there have been times in my life when this is how I have felt. Here's another note:
There are very few people who know us well.It made me think of the fact that when you're online, you can be whomever you really want to be. Nobody really knows any better. You can be suffering in silence but nobody would ever know.
She shared the fact that there are times in her life that she is lonely. Used the example that while she has a rich life, there are times when she longs for someone just to go to the mall with - to hang out. We seem to have taken the convenience that the internet offers us and used it as a substitute for real friendships. She said:
We have found ourselves in a season of isolation because we have ceased to practice deep relationships and our souls need this.Now I'll be the first to admit, that I love my interneters...there are people that I check on daily because I like them and I find them to be interesting. But it makes me also think of the people who I know personally. When is the last time I met a friend for a cup of coffee or lunch? I have a friend whose mother has breast cancer and I'll be honest, I email her to check in on the family. Why don't I pick up the phone? I chat with my friends via instant messaging in the evenings when things are winding down around here. And yet I scold The Doodlebug because, when she's playing on sites like Club Penguin, she is also on the phone with one of her friends and they are playing on the site together. I'll say things like "You're online with them - why do you need to tie up the phone?"
My friend D posted about what she took away from the Bible study on her blog yesterday. My Mom and I had an indepth discussion about friendship yesterday when I went to pick up The Doodlebug. Friends are important. They are our support system through the daily trials and tribulations of life. We need them to lift us up when we are down. To laugh (with us) at the mistakes we make along the way. And we need a variety of friends. Those who knew us when (I call them "The Roots" - they know where you're coming from) and those who know us now. Those who are there when we are in a bind and those who give us a little comic relief when things are too stressful. Sometimes I think God puts friends in our lives for a reason and sometimes they are there for a season. Whatever it is though, I am grateful to have had them along the road.
So to paraphrase D, go out today and make some human contact with your friends. Let them know that you care about them. That they are important to you.