March 3, 2006

Old Friends

It's the times of life like these that make me really appreciate the value of friends. For the past eight months or so, I've been mostly a home-body. This is of course, not entirely accurate, given my attempts at work (three different, mostly meaningless jobs that I had once I finished school), but when I stop to think about it, a lot of my time in the last eight or nine months has been spent in our little basement apartment.
It's amazing what a lot of time alone in a little cave will do to a guy. When I wasn't writing brass parts for my worship team or reading some book on emergent theology ... or procrastinating by playing a computer game or reading or something ... I had to find stuff to do. Not only that, but since I moved to Canandaigua, most of my friends have now been an hour or more away. There are a few exceptions (for a big freakin' examle, my wife, because believe it or not, she really is my best friend), but for the most part, it has taken a lot of effort for me to socialize. Which is hard: I'm a people person.
On top of all this, I had to deal with the fact that pretty much everyone assumed I was leaving for Australia momentarily. At our training, we learned that this can do funny things to friendships; almost like people forget you're still around because they've already dismissed you in their minds. Not intentionally, but to them, you're already gone and not available to grab coffee anymore.
All this to say that I've hardly talked to anyone for the last eight months that wasn't because of a meeting at church or a weekend service or something formal and organized.
But it's been nice, in the last few weeks I've reconnected with a few friends that I haven't been able to see or talk to very often at all. An old friend from college recently reconnected with me, all the way from Vancouver. It's been nice to just talk, connect over what we've missed in each other's lives for two years. Last weekend I got to drive out to Ohio to visit one of my closest guy friends, also from college, who's getting married while I'm gone. We got to talk for pretty much two days straight (minus the time required to ingest pizza or whatever).
And I have a new perspective: friends are one of the most valuable things God has given us on this earth. Having spent eight months in semi-solitude, I can say now that those friends mean more to me now than they did before. Having spent time with Rob for a weekend, doing dinner next week with Troy, and all the other little get-togethers I have planned until we leave (on the 13th, if anyone didn't know that), I can say that my life is a little more full, complete, together than it was a month ago. So to my friends, and you know who you are, I love you as a brother. Thank you for the friendship I've been priviledged to be a part of. I'll miss you while I'm gone. But I'll be back soon, and we'll have to do coffee.

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