It’s strange. One of my family members is preparing to leave out-of-state soon. This happening hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but it reminded me of something I wrote a few years ago. I didn’t have any purpose in mind when I wrote it- just thoughtfulness on the idea of friendship- but it came back to mind, and I thought that perhaps I should dig it up again and post it in honor of the individual’s leaving. It wrote the following back in October 2009 and I entitled it, “No Farewells” :
“I think a lot of people, including myself, hate saying goodbyes. Thus sites for finding past classmates step in- and we can never get rid of the idea that “best friends are forever”. Maybe there is a reason for that. Maybe relationships are supposed to have more permanency than we attribute to them- and maybe it makes sense that when you haven’t seen someone you care about for a long time, you can often slip right into an easy friendship again. On some level there is a kind of connection that you can’t get rid of: maybe it wasn’t supposed to disappear in the first place.
We hate saying goodbye to the ones we love, and quite possibly it is because we know, deep down inside, that real friendships are supposed to be eternal. We don’t want to see our relationships as nothing more than a blip on the face of time: we want to see them stretch out endlessly forwards. We want goodbyes never to last forever, because we want the people we’ve invested ourselves in- the people we care about and love- to continue influencing us, building us up, walking alongside us through thick and thin, and improving our view on the world for.. well.. always.
“You say goodbye, and I say hello- hello, hello- I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello” was a lyric by the Beatles. There was some truth in that…..”
Life may change, and people may come and go, facing new stages in life or their purposes in entering yours or vise-versa complete, but some things remain the same. It takes effort to maintain friendships that last. Note that I am not encouraging maintaining destructive friendships, etc., but friendships of a higher caliber.
During the holiday season, many people re-watched the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life, including myself. The message left by the character Clarence the Angel should remain with us throughout the year: “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends”. Of course we’re not perfect, but our relationship with God and our relationships with others have far more significance than we may attribute to them. They can have lasting significance. Thus we should live our lives in a way that communicates the message “walk with me?” to those we care about.
9 Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
– Ecclesiastes 4:9-10