“Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” – 1 Samuel 18:1
In writing this series on friendship over these last few weeks, my reflections on myself and the hindrances which have prevented me in the past from really digging deep wells of friendship, has been more than little bit uncomfortable. And yet, I have made a decision to embrace the discomfort, even for a little while, in my hope that in identifying the barriers to relationships in my life I can make changes. Changes which enable me to have friendships like that of Jonathan and David described in one Samuel.
I have discovered upon deep reflection of my life over the last few years that one of the key elements that has come in the way of deep friendships for me has been distraction.
I have been so very deeply distracted
Let me explain.
Busy being distracted
In the last decade or so of my life it would be safe to say that I have been busy. From medical school, to internship year, to working long hours in the hospital, getting onto a specialist program and studying to sit my specialist exams. It is safe to say I had all the ingredients and excuses in the world to become distracted.
There is a certain amount of tenacity and drive which one needs to become a successful doctor. It is a lifestyle and not a career in many ways. Having been caught up in this world for a long time, I have mistakenly thought that once I reached the destination than I would have time for more relationships in my life. That once I ‘got there’ I would be more well-rounded. Since we live in a world that celebrates productivity over intimacy and relationships, my rationale was acceptable in my mind and in the mind of those I was surrounded with. I have been so wrong, and those around me, utterly mistaken.
I have failed to realise that the destination is irrelevant, and the journey is empty if you do not have relationships to share it with.
Being distracted with the destination, I failed to make time for really deep relationships. Moreover, as relationships were not valued in my world over productivity, I didn’t truly value them in my heart.
“People are your Destiny” Shawn Bolz
Sure, I had friends. I mean who wouldn’t want to be my friend. I am simply fabulous. However, my life was too hectic to go beyond simple friendship, and given my mindset, I didn’t value them enough to prioritise them. I took my cues from the people who modelled similar behaviour and even celebrated my thinking. And I too fell victim to inch deep relationships focused on a destination.
I too valued productivity over intimacy.
Mark and Dave
I learned so much from watching my husband’s relationship with his best friend David Ridley. I watched for three years while they constantly valued and loved one another. Both were endlessly busy. Both had all the excuses in the world to not have time for one another. Yet they always managed to put each other first. They snuck away from the church for dates together alone. They would call each other constantly. Mark would bare his heart to Dave and trust him with things that he had never told anyone else aside from me. Dave would do the same. They chose to be vulnerable with one another. I watched as Dave would speak over Mark and constantly raise him up into his destiny, and Mark gave Dave the space and permission in his life to do this.
Dave is in fact the whole reason why Mark wrote his first book. I watched as Mark blossom under with Dave’s friendship. Dave blossomed under Marks. They strove to make their relationship God centred, praying and dreaming together constantly. If they had negative perceptions towards each other they would call each other straight away and expose them. And a few moments of uncomfortable conversation would prevent anything from getting in the way of something rare and beautiful. Their friendship is deep and dynamic and I am filled with deep gratitude that it exists.
It also opened my eyes to what was available for me
Oh if this is deep friendship than its what want.
As I am starting to digest what God tried to start teaching me in Darwin. I am realising more and more that relationships are everything. That people are my destiny. Ministry, career, and success apart from true deep relationships are all smoke and mirrors.
I refuse to be distracted anymore.
I refuse to be deceived by the an upside down value system that defines success by productivity rather than the depth of your relationships.
I want to lay down deep wells of friendship with those God ordained people in my life.
My beloveds, what are you putting first. What is distracting you? Let us go back to the drawing board and reevaluate our lives together.
We will look back and be forever grateful. I am certain of it.
Until next time,
You are deeply loved and richly cherished,
The Healthy Hiccup