Recently, I was on a call with a friend of many years talking about life. We were discussing how difficult it is today to maintain transparent relationships in everyone’s busyness and, to be honest, temptation to be content to stay shallow. To this, I responded with a phrase, “Distance doesn’t have to determine depth.”
Isn’t it interesting how you can meet face to face with someone many times and not ever feel like you’re getting past emotional walls or layers of insecurity, yet talk to someone a few times a year on the phone and go deep quickly. What causes that dynamic? Well, the very scenario disproves that it has to do with distance. It’s about depth and about choice.
We can certainly allow physical distance to determine the depth in a relationship. How often have we heard or experienced, “Well, after they moved, it was just never the same?” That can be said when a neighbor just moves across town. “Never the same” is a choice; just as not truly opening up face to face is a choice.
People living in the same house for years can grow apart, while strangers can become close via email in two different countries. Again, it’s not about distance, but depth.
Here’s three challenges and, hopefully, encouragements today . . .
1—While there are certainly situations where God has us to be friends with someone for just a season, we must be sensitive and pro-active to maintain the relationships that God has for us, no matter the proximity—next-door neighbors or twice a year catch-up phone calls. The only way that iron can sharpen iron is to engage.
2—Be intentional about being a man of depth and growing in depth. Shallow people will never make deep friendships. Tweets and posts won’t replace care and concern anytime soon. We certainly see in Scripture how Christ Himself worked daily to deepen His friendships in His circle. Why? Because it was what we are created for—community, and it is how we grow—connection. Go deep. Be deep. Express your faith in the deep end; don’t fear it in the shallow end.
3—Is there someone you need to see today? Call today? Shoot an email? Check on? Re-connect with? You might even think it’s about you at first, but then discover it’s really about them. Is there someone you need to go deep with? Is there someone who may need to go deep with you? Iron can only sharpen iron when it engages.
Created for community. Growth by connection. Change by commitment.
Words of wisdom are a stream that flows from a deep fountain. —Proverbs 18:4 CEV