Monday, June 6, 2011

Risking Friendship

Taking risks is really not my thing. I like my feet safely planted on the ground. Security makes me feel good. Expecting the unexpected has never been my cup of tea. I will never be one of those risk takers who receive their 30 seconds of fame. My life will have to be highlighted for doing something other than out-of-the-ordinary.

While I will never hesitate on the edge of jumping out of a plane (because I will never be there in the first place), I identified a risk that I am willing to take. I risk it all for relationships. Love is one of the few things I am willing to lay it all on the line for.

Yesterday I said goodbye to some dear friends. I have been doing life with some of them for just a short while; some for years and some for over a decade. As I did, my mind flashbacked on the past and the many goodbyes I have had to say. Some are less painful than others but all of them shape me. When friends move away, when people cut you out of their life unexpectedly or when the finality of death forces the goodbye, it hurts. Farewells hurt. And in the moment, I find myself hesitant to reach out and make any more friends.

My initial reaction with people is to protect my heart (and the hearts of my family). I think twice before I give any information about my life. Reluctant to make investments that won’t yield a good return, I hold back. Initially, I want to weigh the risks because no one knows what the future holds.

I have watched people live this life unwilling to risk their hearts due to the fear of pain. The worry of rejection make some unwilling to form new friendships. And the pain of death has hit some so hard that the thought of moving forward is unbearable. While I experience the gamut of emotions as well, I know that our inability to know the future will also leave us missing out.

One has to be willing to risk pain if they yearn to experience joy. True friendship can only be found in experiencing and weeding out the traits that don’t measure up. In opening up our hearts and sharing our experiences, we find that others are willing to do the same. It is only when we are found trustworthy that we experience the dependability of a friend. When we love others, we find the devotion and adoration we long for from them. Camaraderie is understood only by those who are willing to take the risk.

Jesus Christ extended his arms on the cross to display His love for us. Yet, all over the world, people reject this greatest demonstration of love. Knowing this, Christ still offers His love. When the risk is taken, we may not always receive the response we desire. The desired response, however, will never come until we take the risk.

“I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done—kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love. I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father.” – John 15:9-15

3 comments:

  1. sounds like we're living in the same place today.

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  2. I find this post very encouraging today. I've recently been hurt by someone who was a good friend. What I want to do is go hide in a cave for the rest of my life so I never have to experience that again. But I know I can't do that. I'm going to have to risk again...

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