As I read Jennie’s blog last week, I was struck by the deep and special relationship that she and her grandmother shared. I fear that relationships such as these are becoming rarer and rarer as we go through our lives in a hurried frenzy. Unfortunately, death is what often forces us to examine our relationships and recognize the importance of taking the time to invest in people. This was never more real to me than when I lost my oldest sister in a car accident in 2001 and then my dad a few years later to heart failure. How quickly we recognize the opportunities that can be lost forever in just a few moments. We all know that life is busy. In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we often feel forced to let things fall by the wayside just to stay afloat. Unfortunately, the casualties of our busyness are often our relationships.
What’s interesting is that most of us fully recognize that relationships are important. Most would also firmly agree that they WANT to strengthen their relationships with people. And yet, we find ourselves saying, “We should get together sometime” over and over again without ever following through. We may fully intend to make that call to a family member, or set up a night out with the girls, but I’ve come to realize that my good intentions will never turn into action without BEING INTENTIONAL.
How much time does it really take to send a quick text to let someone know you are thinking about them? While you are skimming your Facebook feed to keep up-to-date on the latest happenings of your friends, how often do you actually write one of them a quick message? Maybe a quick email? Believe me. I’ve heard the excuses . . . actually, I frequently make them. “I just don’t have time.”
Really? There are 24 hours in my day and I can’t spare 1 minute of it to tell someone I care?
Let’s face it. Hour-long conversations with each of our friends would be wonderful, but most of us can’t commit to taking that much time. That doesn’t mean that we need to give up all together though! Take baby steps—even if that means programming the calendar on your phone to remind you to contact one friend a day or even a week. I have recently found that I can have events repeat on my phone for up to 50 years! It may seem ridiculous to have to take such extreme measures, but it is being intentional. It is saying, “Relationships are important and I am going to be intentional about letting people know I care about them.”
God did not create us to be alone. We were designed for relationship—first with Him, but also with others. I know what you may be thinking. “I am surrounded by people every day!” While this is true for most of us, I would venture to say that most of us rarely take the time to intentionally invest time in those people. What a blessing results when we do though!
The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”
Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
Of course you will still have relationships that will never go deeper than the surface. That’s okay. But are you thinking of someone right now that you’ve been meaning to connect with? Do it! Send the text. Send the facebook message. Send the email. You will be glad that you did! And the person that receives it may need the encouragement more than you will ever know.