Life comes at you fast sometimes. OK, cheap shot from an insurance ad, but the truth of that advertising slogan sometimes resonates loudly with me.
OK, middle of the night, and i find myself sleepless, so i popped onto facebook to catch up on the world… it is cheaper and much less stressful than the nightly news. And often much more fun! I noticed an old friend was online, and started a discussion with her. I could tell a sense of anguish in her words, as she began to tell me of an old friend of hers who had changed. Once so very trusted, sharing common values, and common interests, but something deep in her heart and mind changed. Her friend had chosen another road, and with the minimum of words she relayed how those choices have broken her heart. Their shared friendship, a sisterhood like friendship of several decades, was falling apart. She no longer had much in common with this woman she thought she knew so well, and allowed to be a part of her inner circle of friends.
so i got to thinking about all the people i have traveled through life with, and how some of the choices i have made caused me to head in a different direction than many of my friends. If i look back two or three decades there are very few people who are still part of my life. I have changed, grown up, got a stronger sense of faith, made decisions that have taken me down a different path. I relayed to her the story of someone I thought would be a part of my life for the rest of my days… but suddenly about 8 years ago she began to change her ideology, her theology, and all we held in common quickly sifted through our hands until we found each other looking eye to eye, and having nothing in common. It broke my heart because some of her decisions were deliberate, and radical. And some of her decisions pointed her to a road of addiction and willful disobedience.
It is hard to watch as people choose to take up an addiction, or to seek infidelity, or throw away all they have ever believed or held dear, or everyone that loved them yet it is something that probably happens every day, slowly, with small acts of change, leading to major decisions and one day everyone realizes the common ground is gone.
I want to rescue people. I want to make things right. And if I ran the world there would be a way of waving that magic wand to end all things painful, bring common sense to those who are running headlong into oblivion, and put all things right. In my perfect world people would not feel the heartsick pain of friends adrift. But the truth is that I cannot change anything… I can only love people, and agree to disagree… and I can warn people, but if they make decisions to head toward addiction, infidelity, or any other aspect of life that i cannot fathom I will have to agree that the road is dividing, and i will take my steady path, keeping my faith, my values, my moral compass guiding me in a straight path to heaven. As long as we live on this sin scarred earth we will know pain, and feel the sting of sin through relationships… but steady on. love them, and pray for them…. and hope that what once was held dear and common will be enough to bring them back.
My heart grieved with my friend as we chatted. It is hard to watch someone stumble headlong into impending disaster, long term addiction, lifelong shock-waves of devastation to friends, family and most of all themselves. We chatted, and agreed to pray for her, but at the heart of the matter i wanted to just cry because a friendship of several decades doesn;t just implode…. there is something deeper going on in that person;s heart and mind.