The past couple of weeks I have spent some time thinking about all of the truly great people that I have in my life. Specifically, the friendships I have formed over the years that continue to be special to me. Regardless of how little or how much I see some of these friends, whenever I see them or am able to catch up via a phone call or text I am filled with so much joy.
I’ve also started thinking about how I’ve met these people, and what it is that has made these friendships stick. Obviously chemistry plays a role in all of this… sometimes you meet someone and you instantly know: this is going to be good.
But that’s not always the case. In fact, I would say quite rarely is that the case, because let’s be real here… if I had chemistry with THAT many people instantly I probably wouldn’t be single right now, and I definitely wouldn’t be writing this post.
A lot of the time it takes effort. There’s action required to meet new people. Like, for instance, starting with “hello”. It might be a maturity thing or maybe it’s a personality thing… Or maybe it’s a little of both.
But it is also an intentionality thing.
You have to make the choice to connect with people. You also have to make the choice as to HOW you connect with people. For some it will come more naturally, and others it requires more thought and practice… but ultimately we choose how much or how little we interact with one another. We also choose to what depth we connect to those around us.
As I look back on these friendships I’ve grown increasingly grateful of, it’s been eye-opening to realize how many of them would not be what they are today if it weren’t for them choosing to invest in me, or if I hadn’t chosen to invest in them.
What’s even more eye-opening is when you realize that at some point along the road, one person invested in the other even when it was not reciprocated. I’ve certainly had friendships where I’ve invested in a person without the same level of investment returned to me. I’ve also had many (oh so many) friends who have chosen to invest in me even when I didn’t return it in the same capacity, and that is one of the greatest gifts those people have given me. Presence is a powerful thing.
You know what that’s called? Selflessness. Spiritually? That’s called being Christ-like.
And it speaks volumes. You may not realize it in the moment and you may not even realize it for years, but when you look back and see how being intentional with people has impacted the depth and quality of the relationships you have with those around you, you will want more of it.
I guess I write all of this to remind you and myself that we all have a choice to make. Will we settle for waiting on others to make the first move, to start the conversation, or to make something meaningful happen? OR… will we be the ones setting an example of intentionality in our lives by the way we cultivate genuine, meaningful relationships that have depth and value threaded throughout them?
I’ll let you decide.