remember high school. (for some of us, those are repressed memories. if that’s you, unfurl yourself from the fetal position and rewind with me.) remember walking into the cafeteria to the sea of faces all with one thing on their mind—“where am i going to sit?”
and as you searched for a welcoming face, someone familiar. he or she didn’t have to be your best friend—although that would be a bonus—but just someone who you could sit with, they would be cordial and you could eat in peace.
so when you saw someone you knew, someone you would call a friend, well that completely changed your experience.
why? because relationship changes everything.
you’re older now, but the reality is relationship still changes everything.
when you walk into work every day, if you have friends in the building, it changes how you perceive the environment. you don’t just go to work. you don’t just walk in to do a job, or to be a part of a productive team, you join with friends to collectively accomplish something.
when you pull into your driveway, if you know the names and stories of the people who are out in their yards, it changes the way you feel about where you live. your neighbors can do stuff that drives you absolute crazy, but if you have a relationship with them, the crazy really isn’t that big of a deal. you value them more than the crazy.
when you walk into the church, if you see friends, church becomes more than just a mass of people who all gather in the same place. it becomes a place where you are known, and where you know others.
regardless of how much you disagree with someone, or how different they are, if you have a relationship with them, it provides space for grace.
when we are insecure or uncertain of where we stand in a relationship with someone, then we feel disconnected, disillusioned. we’re more likely to be hyper critical because we’re not sure we can trust that person. our self-defenses go into hyperdrive.
but if relationship is affirmed, the peripheral things quickly dissipate.
if i am merely the “ends to the means,” someone to do what you need done, or someone to supply what you need, then that isn’t relationship.
social media and small talk can give us a glimpse of relationship. we can skim the surface with the knowledge of what’s going on in a person’s life.
but people are more than a status update.
and how connected we are to the environments we encounter every day depends on one thing—relationships.
relationship changes everything.
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