On the Journey to Less: Friendship

In this season of my life as a working student, it is hard to say which is more at a premium, money or time.  I find myself having to make decisions that I do not want to have to make.  I sometimes forego getting together with friends because of the cost of meeting for coffee or because if I have someone over, they may want to stay longer than I can realistically afford to have them.  Sometimes, even when I tell them that I have plans at a certain time, they stay for hours.  I am sure it is not because they have nothing else to do, but because they are tremendously hungry for fellowship.  I make lousy coffee.

People in today’s world are very needy.  They are worried about money and time and relationships and whatever cataclysmic  event or disease that the media has just pronounced on everyone. The sad part is that we face all of it alone for the most part, even those who are part of a local church.  Church is no longer a synonym for shared joy or grief.  It can be, but it is not necessarily.  The larger a church gets, the more programmed and professional that the Sunday gathering becomes until even the leaders will tell you not to expect to have any of your desires for participation or friendship met at the Sunday meeting:  for that you must attend a small group.  Sometimes I ask myself, why not just go to a small church?

No good answer.

My late mother in law told me that when her children were young that the all of the moms in her neighborhood got together every weekday morning at one house for a cup of coffee. When I expressed shock at this, she said that they rotated houses, so that it was not always at the same house and it was only for about fifteen minutes and the kids were all left outside to play for that period of time in the yard of the person hosting the coffee.  I was amazed that they pulled off this feat of organization, and no one died.  Those women recognized their need for other people and did something about it.

It doesn’t take as much time to build a friendship as one might think, but it takes time on a regular basis.  Somehow we need to have friends who understand this and can make time for us without taking over our entire day with one fell swoop.  I have found that it takes being sincere and direct and committed to work on those kinds of friendships, but it is worth it.

Totally worth it.

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2 Responses to “On the Journey to Less: Friendship”

  1. lifeistheteacher Says:

    AMEN to everything you have written, especially about church. This is why I go to a small church! And yet we still have small groups, which is also a blessing.

    • thegreatfish Says:

      I am still part of a mega church which means that I can forego any Sunday services, watch it on live stream and go to my small group. This seems a little contrived. I do like the detachment from most politics in a large church to a point. I don’t have to know about 99% of the injustices that happen in church life, but the truth is that the leaders never care what any sheep think in making a decision. They only consult with their staff. Large and small churches are a two edged sword. Some small churches have incredibly boring pastors and off key worship leaders who wouldn’t last in a larger church. One would hope anyway. Eventually, I plan to move to a smaller church. I just haven’t done it yet. I keep dragging my feet, hating the entire process of ‘changing’ churches.

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