Sunday, November 07, 2010

Priority List or Bucket List?

This morning I went online to read and print an email that I had saved from about a week ago, an email having to do with a meeting after church this morning. When I went into my account, I found about eight or ten emails – none of them spam – that I acted upon (read and file, or read and delete). One of them had to do with a discussion with a Facebook friend, so of course I had to go there. Once logged in, I quickly skimmed over what the insomniacs of my entourage had posted overnight. Running out of time, I quickly closed down my computer and continued with my morning routine. Halfway out the door to leave, I realized I never did open the email I originally wanted to read. And by then it was too late.

Sometimes our relationships with each other go the same way. We build a friendship over time, with the promise to always keep in touch. And they’re good intentions. Plans are made to gather together, but life happens. Maybe a child gets sick. Or an unexpected bill comes up. Life progresses and we surround ourselves with a whole new circle of friends and acquaintances. Enough of these extra things come up, and keeping in touch becomes less and less important. Sadly, it appears that meeting for lunch with old friends moves from the Priority List to the Bucket List.

It ought not be so! True, you can’t always control what comes up in life. But you can control the actions you take to let people who have impacted your life that they are special and have made a difference, no matter how big or small that difference may have been. You don’t necessarily have to do something extra-ordinary. If this post brings to mind someone you have not seen in quite some time (perhaps years), start simple. A quick email, or an e-card is a good way to begin. If you (or they) are not comfortable with computer technology, then do something more “old-school” like a phone call, or simple greeting card with a brief hand-written note. Re-establish the friendship, and make the non-negotiable commitment to meet together, and follow through on that commitment. It doesn’t have to be something as formal as a reunion – something where you would feel comfortable, like a backyard BBQ or meeting for pie and coffee can be just as meaningful, perhaps even more so.

There is an old saying that goes, “Keep your friendships in repair.” To do so takes intentional effort. Some people end up making enemies instead of friends because it is less trouble. Don’t be one of those people. Cross “meeting for lunch with friends” off of your Bucket List and place it back on your Priority List. You’ll be glad you did.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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