I have a best friend - one that is irreplaceable. I have other friends of course, those that are near and dear to me, and I cherish those friendships as well. I do have acquaintances and coworkers - other people in my life that know of me, but don't really know me... you know what I mean. And then there are those people that you know and mingle with but don't really value the friendship you have or the relationship for that matter.
I wonder sometimes if I value friendship differently because I didn't have it growing up. I moved around a lot and was forced to start fresh many times. I always had to make new friends. While I was good at meeting new people and making new "friends", these people never really kept in touch and they weren't the type of people who valued friendship. I have multiple stories of people who called me a friend but who betrayed me. I have countless stories of people who called me a friend but who let me down multiple times, even though I continued to give them chance after chance because I wanted to believe that they were my friend as they said they were. I think sometimes people call you a friend because they enjoy spending time with you but they don't really value your friendship enough to travel hundreds or thousands of miles for you, or to drop everything to come to you, or to sacrifice anything for you.
I have friends that I would do these things for and that would do these things for me. Not out of duty or requirement but out of desire and love. Because we have such a strong connection and we value each other so greatly we long to see each other happy and satisfied. We want what is best for each other. We will drive all hours of the night or day - we will spend the waking days and nights on the phone - we will sit in silence, in tears, or in laughter on the couch - That is true friendship.
If you were to evaluate all the "friends" you have in your life right now - go through your phone, facebook, twitter, whatever - and just think about the people you talk to on a regular basis. When I say regular, I mean daily or weekly. You must talk to someone on a continuous enough basis that it doesn't take a catching up conversation every time you decide to talk again. You should always know what is important and going on in this persons life and it shouldn't be because you are following their newsfeed.... it should be because you are personally talking to this person and getting to know them on a deeper level.
Now think about why you have grown distant from all the people you thought you were once close with. Is it because of social media - because you catch up quickly on hundreds of peoples lives in a few minutes with quick glances at newsfeed, instead of taking the few minutes to phone a friend and check in once a week or a few times here and there. Is it because you have just allowed life to get far too busy for you that you have gotten lost in your own life? Caught up in everything you - you aren't allowing anyone else in? Do you wonder sometimes why it is that when you need someone nobody is there? Because you push everyone away or you make yourself unavailable. It is difficult for people to continually make themselves available to you if you are always unavailable as well - that goes for emotions as well!
Sometimes we think we are giving more than we are. We think we are giving someone what they need but we never check in, we just assume. There needs to be a friend check in every once in a while. We have to say - hey friend - how are you? How are things? Am I giving you what you need? Am I here for you? I am trying my best, but I know life can get away from us without even knowing it sometimes.
Lets try to be intentional about our relationships in our lives. What we value will reflect in who we are and what others see in us and our character. What we model for those around us and those who look up to us. More importantly - I want to be a great friend to a few people instead of trying to be an okay friend to a lot of people. I don't need to be popular. I don't need to have 1000's of friends. I just want to be the best friend I can be and I know I cannot be an incredible friend to a thousand people because I would be emotionally and mentally drained by the end of the day. So - I will value the friendships that I have while building others, but I will focus on intentionally building incredible friendships instead of forming acquaintances or nothing at all. I think connection is a phenomenal thing and God created human beings to connect with one another in such a way that we would be drawn to one another and it would be difficult to separate.
Lets value what we have and allow it to be what difficult to separate.