A few months ago, I bumped into someone I try to connect with from time to time. With each time we catch-up, I’ve always made the first move. In fact the last time, the person said, or more accurately promised, “I’ll look you up the next time I’m in town.” Well, guess what? Yes, of course, the next time the person was in town, I found out...
There was no way I would have known if I didn't go to a particular café at the time I did...talk about seeing someone by a wild chance. Well, I debated whether or not to let the person see that I saw them or not. Being the person I am, I went over and did a “I see you’re in town” wave. I walked away thinking to myself: “It's not mutual.”
It reminded me of my husband’s “My best friend is…” story. In his case, every time he was asked to write about his best friend, he wrote consistently about the same boy, that was until the day he saw is “best friend’s” “My best friend is…” paper. You guessed right, his best friend had a different best friend. It hurt him at that time and he learned from it.
I know the Bible tells us we should "be friendly”* and I do my best to be. However, we need to remind ourselves, and our children too, that not everyone can be our (best) friend and that the fact you consider someone your (best) friend does not mean it’s mutual.
We must learn to appreciate the friendships we have and learn to live without the ones we wish we had – simply because we cannot have everything we want.
This truth can be tough on children because they sometimes see the “lack of ‘best-friend-ship’” as a sign of rejection and nothing could be further from the truth. The best way to deal with it is to be happy and content with your own company. When you can truly face and connect with yourself, it's easier to connect with others and not be bothered whether or not they reach out to you. Teach your children that too.
*Prov 18:24a - "A man who has friends must himself be friendly." (NIV)