“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1
Several years ago, I was told that friends come into our lives for certain seasons. Her meaning behind this? Friends come and go. We cross paths with certain people for certain periods of time and for certain reasons.
It’s not as if it’s a planned thing. I didn’t meet someone in 2011 and decide we would only be friends for three years. But, sometimes, that’s just how it happens.
Think of it like we’re leaves that have separated ourselves from the trees on which we grew. We’re caught up in a cool, autumn breeze and are blown to wherever our destinies may lead. Sometimes that means we end up in a pile of other leaves. Sometimes we float along on our own for a while. Sometimes we get thrown into some kind of mulching machine. Okay, that one may have been a bad metaphor.
What about a path kind of analogy? We’re walking along the path that makes up our lives. Along the way, our paths merge with others. Some follow the same path for a long time. Others for a short time. Either way, it seems that we’re in each others lives for these seasons for a reason.
We come alongside some friends because we need them, or they need us. And when that time of need has ended, we move on. Or they move on. Again, it’s not as if something like this is planned. People just grow apart after a while. Life get busy with careers, families, other friends. Slowly but surely, contact begins to cease.
As we approach Send Off Sunday, the people of Northstar Church are faced with the reality of needing to say good bye to friends who have been active servants for a season of their lives. Yes, it is sad to see these friends go. It’s sad to think that, in many cases, we may not see them again this side of Heaven. But it is also so exciting to think of how those lives will go on to touch and embrace so many others as their paths branch off toward new places and experiences.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
Change is a difficult thing to go through. Most of the time, anyway. Sometimes it can be really hard to let go of the people we’ve come to love. We go through so much with our friends. We experience joy and sadness together. And then it all goes away.
No, it’s not always like this. Always is too big a word and it’s way too all-encompassing. Because I know that there are some people who stick around for life. Those are some rare people.
Sadly, and more often, it just gets too difficult to maintain some friendships. And that’s when you just have to let go and let the season change. Does that mean those limited time relationships mean any less than they did at the peak of the friendship? Absolutely not. And when you do finally get back in touch with each other, there’s a good chance you can find a lot of great things to talk about.
Hang on to what you can. But, really, don’t be afraid to let go. Embrace the changing seasons.