Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ode to Friendships

Being away from your family, your home, and your usual group of friends has been educational.  We were only in Sweden for 3.5 months, and it was a busy 3.5.  We have been in Bots now 7 months and it is NOT the same a Sweden, I assure you.

We have missed our friends back home more than ever.  With two exceptions, we have had very limited contact with anyone in the USA outside our families.  This has caused me to think about friendships.

I think I have historically taken friendships too much for granted. I have always been blessed with a LOT of friends, and I have noticed, too much of something diminishes its value.

Long distance friendships, like long distance relationships, are hard.  Distance is tough, not as tough as it used to be, but still a challenge.  A young friend asked me yesterday about long distance "courting" and I told him the good news was that it would really test the relationship, as though by fire.

Likewise, being gone 10.5 months is quite different from our relatively short stint in Sverige.  People are occupied with the day-to-day busyness of life in the USA.  There isn't much time, and even less energy for people across the vast ocean.  In fact, the same is true for G^d I think.  The here and now occupies most of our attention, and there is little time, energy, and interest in maintaining a long-distance relationship with G^d.

I don't think, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."  I think it's more like "Absence is the true test of friendship", and "If we are too busy for our relationships, perhaps we ought to reassess."

Well, I am too busy to think about this right now.  Maybe later...    ;)>


  1. Moving to South Carolina has really challenged my understanding of distance relationships.

    It is hard to imagine anyone having more friends and family than I had/have in Tuscaloosa. I've been on the left-behind end of seemingly hundreds of friendships and usually longed in vain for the relationship to stay close.

    I now realize I dropped the ball many, many times in pursuing friends after they left. Even now, out of sight, out of mind stills contributes to my lack of pursuit.

    For me, it all adds a new appreciation of Paul's letters. With poor eyesight, being imprisoned, beaten, abandoned, stoned and all manner of relational trauma, he still penned those letters. I love that they usually end with sweet affection to and from people by name. Relationships matter.

    I'm grateful God never stops pursuing me no matter how far I wander.

  2. I have had two friend who I respected a lot, but their stated policy (one case) and implied policy (another case) was that once you leave a place, the friendships are closed too.

    I never liked that idea. I left My friend Chuck behind when I left Athens, GA in 1984, and Charlie in 1972 when I left USNA. Still they are friends, and we communicate. And, as you point out Wes, G^d has stayed true since 1961!! What a friend we have in Jesus!!

    Thanks for reminding us, friend.