Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Mystery of Friendships

I spent some time with a bunch of friends last night and it was wonderful. The most wonderful thing about it was that there is really no reason for us to be friends. I looked around at the group of wonderful women I was with, and realize that there is nothing tying us together except for a genuine love of eachother.

Let me explain.

We all have those friends that we have because our parents were friends. Those are friends you are given. Yes, I understand that there comes a point when one must decide to keep the friendship (and it is always tragic when the other friend does not make the same effort), but for the most part, that is a frienship that just is.

Then there are those friends that you have had forever. These (i think) are the best kind, especially because at some point they move from being a friendship to being a true family relationship. There are friends I have in my life that I don't consider friends, I consider them family. They see sides of me that other friends would never see, I can be freeer with them. There is, however, a downside to this, if I am free in my expression with them, or they with me, there is a chance of becomming rude, or of taking advantage of their emotion or vice versa. We only hurt the ones we love, and we can hurt no one like family.

There are other friends that you have by mutual association. School friends, work friends, activity friends. These are people that you are comepletely comfortable with in certain settings. Outise of those settings, it gets a little uncomfortable.

I have friends in all of these areas, but the friends that I was with last night are diferent. On the outside, it looks like we're just activity friends, school friends or something like that. But the relationship we have goes deeper. We are getting to know eachother on a different level, we are not at the point where we can deeply wound eachother, but we can certainly bless and encourage one another on a level that other friends can not.

In a few months, I'll be leaving and there will be some people I will inevitably loose contact with. However, for this time, right now, they are amazing people to me, and I am extremely grateful.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Growing Up

In a few months I am going to be experiencing a lot of life changes. I will graduate with a BA, I will get married, I will move accros the country for a job. In other words, I will grow up.

So what does that really mean? I'm already an adult, and while I will technically be older at the end of all those changes than I was at the beginning, no real time will have passed. I don't think there will be many changes in my personality either, at least I hope not.

What is growing up? When does it happen and what does it look like? These are questions I have found myself asking quite frequently as I start to realize all the things that will be changing. I think it cold be fear that certian parts of my personality - my playfulness and prusuit of the positive and the humerous - will have to be cut out, or at least toned down.

Part of it could have to do with the nature of my vocation. I am going to be a pastor. I've already been told by a few people that I don't seem like a pastor (which I have taken as a compliment), but at the same time there are certain expectations that I will need to live up to. There is a certain maturity and ammount of leadership and credibility that is expected.

However, those are both very internal things. It's unfortunate that people are very bad at evaluating the internal, except through using external evidence. They should learn the secret of the fox "the important things can only be seen with the heart" (the little prince). I know there will be a certain image that I will need to portray, at least in some situations. However, if it is only an image, and not truly who I am, than it is worthless, a lie, and will be found out eventually anyway.

So truly, there will need to be a change in me, or perhaps not. I could, at this very moment, be just as mature and just as capable of leading as I will be when I graduate, get married, and take the position as a pastor. Could it be that there is no change needed at all, but that I only need to assume these roles using the characteristics I already posess. This would definatly be a much beter option.

The basis for this questioning is the changes I have seen in friends of mine as they have gone through similar experiences. They have changed, so much to the point that they are no longer the people I knew. Was their former life so horrible that it all needed to be abandoned for this new life? Which was the farce, their poersonality before, or that now? I do not want people to be asking the same questions about me.

Monday, February 21, 2005

What is this all about anyway

Blogging is something that I have heartfeltly avoided for the past few years. For a time, I had an online diary which was very similar to a blog, but it soon lost its novelty. The reason I stayed away from blogging is because message boards and random conversations had satisfied my need to share my thoughts with random people. But now time is hard to come by, and I'm actually seeing the merit of blogging, for those who read, it can offer great insight. I hope to offer insight, but if not, well, at least I might be able to cause a laugh here or there.

I suppose I should make some inital comments about who I am. I'm almost done college, I'm almost married, I'm almost out in the real-world. I guess I can say that I'm looking forward to all of those things, but I am not just living in the future. I am a student, and, as much as I want to be done, I am enjoying it.

As for these thoughts, I don't know where they will go. I have a habit of being very contemplative, of getting lost in things. I had always thought that I had a way of thinking differntly, and now I'm realizing that there are many other people who think the same way I do (the label we've been given is post-modern, but what does that mean anyway?), so hopefully at least one person out there will enjoy it.

Welcome to my blog, enjoy your stay. React to me however you want, I can take it...