“IT’S NOT ABOUT ME” : A CALL TO GREATER LOVE
A CALL TO GREATER LOVE
True friendship is a call to greater love. It is a word we throw around a lot but don’t consider the weight and responsibility that it carries. Like a marriage, minus the contract of course, it is the most important chosen relationship that we can have on this earth. There is a level of intention and a commitment to longevity that comes along with calling somebody a friend. I’m talking about the ones you would call if you were in jail. The ones who really know you and love you anyway. The ones you can cry and laugh to the point of crying with all in one night. The ones who endure the changing of the seasons and consider it a joy even in the midst of difficulties.
Not only that, this commitment we call friendship is risky. Sharing the whole of ourselves can feel uncertain and intimidating. In my experience, this longevity in friendship, it takes work, and sometimes it feels like heavy lifting. It takes grace and mercy and an understanding that the long haul may not always be easy. We can be cruising along, then the inevitable happens. It’s called change. We enter into careers and relationships. We relocate across the city and sometimes across the country. We get married and have kids. In a perfect world we would do this together dancing all the way. But that’s not reality. The distance sets in. Worse, unspeakable things happen like divorce, sickness and tragedy. The waters can get muddied and longevity seems like a lot more painful sacrifice than it does gain. It challenges the very nature of our selfish desires. These pivotal moments are what define us though. They are turning points, and we have a choice to make.
John 15:13 says this, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
IT’S NOT ABOUT ME
Lay down my life? Really? BUT, you don’t understand…
These times with our friends when distance sets in are going to happen. I’m not talking about senseless bickering. Life is too short for that. I’m talking about the times our lives are changing rapidly in different directions. I’m talking about the tenth time you’ve been a bridesmaid and you haven’t had a date in months. Or about the friend who landed their dream job and the day you got laid off. Maybe about the baby showers you have been throwing with a conflicted and heavy heart. Even the times when you simply don’t agree on things like faith and lifestyle choices. There is a tension that exists in these moments that call for greater love. The kind where we celebrate victories though we may be crushed in spirit. Where in our time of victory, we remember where we came from and to lift the heavy hearts. The kind that simply says, “it’s not about me.”
It’s tricky though you see. Friendship has to be synonymous with sacrifice. To give something, expecting nothing in return. To lay down your life. It is an action and not a reaction. It is giving from a place of abundance and from a place where you have nothing left. It is hard and it is beautiful and it is so worth it. The inevitable and the unspeakable cannot shake a foundation that fights for greater love.
If you have just one of these friends, you have something that cannot be replaced. I am undeserving, but forever grateful for these people in my life. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” I submit to you to answer this call however it may look in your life. To commit to the long haul even if it feels like heavy lifting. To give sacrificially. I would be hard pressed to believe the reward won’t silence the risk. It is a call to greater love. Are you willing to accept?