Friendship is a game of contact.

Posted: March 26, 2011 in Life, Me and people, The Church

How meaningful has your relationship been with your old school mates whom you haven’t seen since graduation (other than 10th year class reunion)?
How meaningful is your relationship with your doctor or accountant whom you see only once a year?
How deep is your friendship with your mechanic whom you may see every few months?
How much do you really know that one couple you shake hands with almost every Sunday at church when the pastor says “please greet one another”?
Now, would you agree that you have gotten to know better and better the people in your softball team or your kid’s t-ball league whom you have been seeing every week?

Are perhaps your co-workers the people who could describe you the best and tell about what’s going on in your life? –even better than your own family?

It seems to me that every time we say farewell to a group of friends because we are moving to another city or switched church or got a new job, those loving –and almost romantic phrases and promises like “Stay in touch” or “we’ll hang out” are often doomed to be as shallow and meaningless as the job interviewer who says “We’ll call you!”. We may have great intentions to keep the relationships going, but most likely, they will fade away, why? Because friendship is a game of contact.

I have come to a conclusion: Unless you have a social excuse and commitment to meet with someone (i.e. job, church, sports league, hunting team, professional association etc) it is almost impossible to keep a meaningful relationship going. Whether good or fair quality of friends, the constant contact is a critical element for the building and maintenance of friendships. This is important to realize when you have those sad moments of pity-party saying: “I don’t have friends”

Perhaps sometimes we need to identify the type of people we want to be friends with; the kind of person with the values and beliefs we want to give access to our lives and open up to. The kind of person who would build us up and not tear us down, the kind that would tell us the truth even when it hurts, the kind of friend that supports, listens and prays for you. Once you know the ‘type’ of person you would want to call at 3am –or that kind of person you wouldn’t mind getting a 3am call from, then we need to work on contact.

Hang out, share the same small group or Bible study, get families together for BBQ, have lunch after church on Sunday, have lunch just for the sake of it. Only those activities will take you from the empty “hi-how-are-you” to the deeper levels of relationship; the only way you can really know if there is at least the possibility of some kind of deep relationship with someone.

Some friendships are one of a kind and can survive through the years even without constant contact. If you have one of those, feel blessed and privileged. However, in as much as those are rare, they also started -I’m sure, with a period of constant periodic and quality contact.

Friendship is a game of contact.

  1. […] of life makes it more difficult to spend time with people in a significant and ongoing way. It takes time –a lot of time to create meaningful […]

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