I’ve often considered myself as being friendly. Albeit I have a strong tendency to be into my shell and be more reactive than proactive as a result of personality traits. However, once I identify someone that looks like me or acts like me, I’m more than willing to strike up a conversation! It’s no surprise my friends are pretty much like me, or I’m like them 😀
Making friends is a bit easy. Sustaining such friendships is where the problem lies. People get separated by distance, jobs, new relationships etc. Back in school, my Chancellor would say 20 friends cannot play together in the same place for 20 years. Very true! Just a couple years after school and I have friends spread all over the globe doing various things. Thanks to social media though, you can keep a track of important details.
But it’s really sad how very close friends become estranged. It’s like a garden left uncared for. The weeds of little misunderstandings and mistrust take over and all you’re left with is the memory of what once was. I’ve had so many blooming friendships end up this way. Either one party stopped working on it or both just gave up trying.
My emphasis for this post though is that moment when estranged friends try to get back together. Where do you start from? You would probably start by asking about things you knew previously. “M, how about that your red Toyota car?” “Oh, I sold it. How about your granny? I loved those chips she often made.” “Yeah, she passed away some 2 years back.” “Oh wow, sorry about your loss.” Then an awkward silence follows as you try to find what to say. “Are you still practicing Diplomacy as you wanted to?” “No, I’m into Human Resources now.” “Oh, okay” What would you probably discuss that wouldn’t sound awkward and disconnected?
Truth is, you’ll probably need some time together to catch up. Or you may fumble with awkwardness for some time till you finally accept the fate that life has changed. People change. So just move on. BTW, this isn’t really a post on human relationships and friendship. This is more of that awkwardness that goes on when you become estranged from God; when you stop reading your Bible or having personal quiet times. When you begin to skip Sunday Services and forget what days the midweek services fall on.
A relationship with God is pretty much like human relationships, it needs a lot of communication and ‘keeping in touch’. You hardly tell estranged friends about a crisis you’re going through in the present. “So I and Zac have been having issues with our relationship.” “Who’s Zac? I thought you were with Mike?” “Oh that was donkey years ago!” And you have to start going on and on about how your relationship life has evolved over the years before she can understand the current situation and try to proffer solutions. Exhaustive!
I’ve had those awkward times where I flip through my Bible unsure of where to start from. Times where I ruminate over my past sins, forgetting that He forgives sins and remembers them no more. I’m like “Err, what’s going on God? Where do I start from?” Of course, He is always there. We are the ones who pull back. Who get so busy with life that we forget to check with Him. He becomes strange to us. And of course you go back to playing catch up; trying to reconnect. Personally, I don’t really find the reconnecting process exciting. I usually say; if you leave me, don’t waltz back into my life to take the seat you were used to. You’ve gotta start all over again to know me. That’s also how I perceive my relationship with God. If I leave Him for a couple of weeks, I have to take the time to backtrack and make amends before we pick up. I have to open up about what happened; how I made mistakes (which I could have avoided if I asked Him) and so on.
Have you ever traveled away from a favorite WiFi spot and come back to see it asking for password? I mean, back then it could connect easily as long as you were there. But you left and became ‘estranged’- I find this really frustrating! 😀
So are you estranged from God? Or even from your friends and family? Do the needful. Go back and reconnect. And most importantly, don’t leave, don’t leave God. He loves you dearly and waits for you to come back. Once you reconnect, make sure you remain connected!
©Mfon Etuk, 2016