There are a group of friends that I only see every so often. There are no rifts. There are no outstanding issues. The frequency and timing of when we catch up is opportunistic. Everyone has a busy life. The common forces driving each life is similar – jobs, relationships, and random events. After a busy weekend of hanging out, running errands, and eating together, I found myself reflecting on the times we are together.
Assuming anyone’s life is stagnant is a mistake. Life marches on, touching you and me in every moment. There are forces at work. Some are for us while others have anything but our best interests at heart. When we catch-up, there is a sense that others want to hear each story. Each knows that change is a part of life. Stories are the vehicles that allow us to bridge the gaps.
When people care from the heart, you can feel it. Words have meaning. Yet without intent behind them, they sound empty. When words and expressions are filled with emotions – especially compassion, empathy, and love – the way that they are spoken and heard is different.
Events happen in our lives due to the actions of others and as a result of our own hands. Yes, we create hells for ourselves. There are also good forces and bad playing out in our lives. “God is already in action – sword honed on his whetstone, bow strung, arrow on the string, lethal weapons in hand, each arrow a flaming missile.” (Psalm 7.12, 13) Evil is also on the loose, ready to take whatever it can from our lives. On top of this, random events hit us, often unintentional. Life is messy.
It is easy to get caught up in the busyness and chaos. My problems usually trump others. In the intersections of our lives is an opportunity to make a difference – for others as well as our self. We are part of a larger family. Acting on this changes life. We can make living better. We can lighten the load. We can make a difference.