At the beginning of this weekend I was ravenously hungry for fellowship. I wanted to talk, laugh, and be with people. Now, at the end of the weekend, I am exhausted. That may have something more to do with the fact that I got an hour of sleep last night, but I also attribute it to spending a lot of time with people in the past 48 hours. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with friends, I consider conversation an art form, and it is a rare moment when want to be completely alone.
This weekend was particularly hard because I got to see the reality of what some of my friends do when they’re not around me, and it was disappointing. They’re not bad people, I know that. I see the potential of what God could do through them. But there are days like this weekend when I lose hope. I get frustrated at their behavior, when I feel that they make foolish choices, and then end up angry at the world because of it. In these moments I want to tell them off, to just yell at them so that maybe they’ll snap out of it. But I know that it wouldn’t help. That would be the easy route, I believe that God has called me to the long run.
The long run involves waiting patiently. Standing by your friend even while you do not agree with their choices (and they already know that) and still loving them for who they are outside of their behavior. I don’t think refusing to hang out with them simply because you disagree with them is the answer. Instead you set limits to what you are willing to go through with them. And then you wait. You wait until your friend is willing to listen. Willing to let you in and willing to let you speak truth to them.
But this weekend included one of those redeeming moments too. When you’re so utterly frustrated and just want to scream, suddenly a burst of truth comes out of nowhere and takes you by surprise. When you’re friend opens up and shares with you what you had never thought they were going through. And then you realize that it’s all for a purpose. And even though you’re in it for the long run, and change doesn’t arrive overnight, you remember that change can come. Sometimes it’s simply in baby steps. These moments make the exhausting run worth it.