Who are you traveling with in this season’s narrative?
Life is a lengthy and bumpy journey. Traveling alone is not safe. It is not wise. It is not necessary.
Stories in the Bible might focus on a key character, but there were other folks in those tales. Jesus is the One who died for us all, but He did not endure His ministry years alone. He pursued a few. He lived with them and loved them and died for them, even though they betrayed or doubted or denied Him.
People will hurt you, yes.
You will hurt them, also.
But choose. Choose to pursue the proper relationships with the right people.
* Who are your closest friends?
Yes, answer that question. What names would you type as you respond? Closest doesn’t mean geographically or biologically. It means relationally. Write a list of true friends—those who spend time with you, love you, believe in you, pray for you, cry with you, laugh with you, eat with you, dream with you, and dare you in kind ways to become the person you should be.
* What do they add to your life?
I do not mean adding names of people to make your cultural connections larger and your position feeling more important. I am not suggesting you find friends who do everything and view everything just like you do. Ask yourself what they add to your life. How they challenge you. How they forgive you. How they speak positive equilibrium in the devastating negatives you hear in your mind.
* What do you add to their lives?
Think of what their story adds to your story. Think of how you need that part in your chronicle. Think of what would be missing if they were not there. Think also about what you must invest to be sure they are hearing encouragement from you, just as you are from them.
Will we go there? Will we stay there? Ask yourself those questions, remembering the “there” is not just a geographical location but a spiritual relationship with someone who can help us find equilibrium. If you struggle to go and stay “there,” what is the reason? Are hurts from past relationships inhibiting your willingness to pursue a mentor, a friend, a fellow traveler? How can you get help to not let those pains control your present choices?
Occasionally, we run into someone unexpectedly and a great relationship begins developing. But most don’t. Most happen as we pursue them. Even when it “just happens,” somewhere during that journey we need to make intentional decisions to continue developing the relationship. So, choose to pursue those who can travel along with you through life’s uneven surfaces. Chase the right fellow explorers. Welcome them. And help them feel welcome as your friend.