Over the past few days my thoughts have turned repeatedly to priorities. What truly matters in life? Stuff, accomplishments, degrees, cars? I contend that people, relationships, are far and away what truly matters. Nothing else lasts or has impact beyond our immediate world. The relationships we choose to build and nurture are lasting.
It is said that everyone comes into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime ( I am sure this is a quote from someone famous but I think I read it on a Hallmark card). I believe that each of these types of relationship have infinite value.
A reason: How often does someone come into your life for a short time and then is gone? This person is touching your life and you theirs for a reason. Perhaps they need your encouragement. Maybe you need their challenge. God has lessons for us in every encounter. This week Tonya* entered my life for 20 minutes. In that time I learned that she has no children but is ok with it. She wouldn't want children at this late age anyway ( she wasn't at all old). I learned that Tonya has a passion for soothing women when they are nervous. I learned that Tonya is efficient, calm, and caring. Tonya likes her job. When my mammogram was complete she smiled and said "You have been a blessing to me today." I was floored. I blessed her? She went on " You are the first person today who asked about me and then listened to my answer. Thank You for making me feel important." I said "You're welcome." God put her & I in that place because I needed a calm person and because she needed someone to listen to her. I may never see Tonya again. That is all right. Because there was a reason.
A season: Some relationships build and then wane for no apparent reason. These we can learn from and cherish the memories of. We can pray over the person when the Lord brings them to mind even though the active relationship has passed. Whatever the season, 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years, God can use the relationship to enrich your life and theirs. This friendship may wane because of a move across country. Perhaps you have children and they do not and you are in different life places now. Do not mourn long. Rejoice that you had their friendship for a season. Pray that their life is watched over by the Lord. Perhaps someday He will bring them back into your life.
A lifetime: There are a few relationships that whenever you come together even after a long hiatus, it is as if you were never apart. There are some that you feel as if you couldn't breathe without them. How blessed are we that God puts in us the heart for relationship. The desire to be in connection with others. My most important lifetime relationship is with the Admiral. I desire to just be near his heart. God gave me the most amazing gift when he gave me this man. Another lifetime relationship I cherish is my amazing mother. Her perseverance and desire to know God is a constant example to me. I have others who aren't related by blood. Who will forever be lifetime relationships. There is no going back.
Relationships are the stuff of ages, not degrees, trophies, or accolades. Reach out my friends, reach out to the people in your life. Be thankful for them. Cherish all that God would teach you through others. Be sure to care for your relationships and give them priority in your life. Because the relationships are the legacy that you leave.
Lord touch my day. Help me to align my priorities with yours. Allow me the privilege Lord to love on on others and show them you.
* not her real name.