I have to admit: I love Facebook. Sure, I complain about how many teenagers are posting self-portraits taken in the bathroom as their profile picture (yes, I’m talking to you) and how people put the most ridiculous things on there (“Just bought teh best toenail clippers ever!! My BFF told me so, n now I m rockin trimmed toenails!!! WOOT! 🙂 <: ” ), but I do love how I have been able to reconnect with old friends I haven’t seen or talked to in far longer than I care to admit. I missed my 20th high school reunion a couple of years ago, but thanks to Facebook I’m more in touch now than ever.
One recent addition is one of my oldest and dearest friends, a guy named Paul. We have known each other almost as far back as I can remember. We lived down the street from one another, went to the same church, and sat in the same Sunday School class. I have a lot of great memories of stuff we did together over the years. One that makes me laugh every time I think of it was how Paul and I would activate the stopwatch function on our Casio G-Shock watches every time our youth pastor would get up to pray during the worship service. I think the record was about 7 minutes, but I’m not sure. Paul may remember or not, but we laughed every week until I got dirty looks from my parents. I’m sure that kids do that to me now, only they do it with their phones.
For years we were pretty much inseparable: riding bikes in our neighborhood, sitting in the boat in his garage listening to the radio, playing on the Atari 2600, blowing up model airplanes–and coffee cans, and anything else we could find to stick an M-80 into. Don’t even get me started about the flamethrowers, ninja stars, and driving cars when we weren’t old enough (the statute of limitations has run out on most of these).
Recently I found Paul and sent him a friend request, which he promptly accepted. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him much since we “friended”, but we have seen pics of each others families, and he’s “liked” a couple of things I’ve posted. His is just one example of how cool it is to reconnect with someone who was such a good friend.
It also reminds me of how easy it is to lose touch. As tight as Paul and I were, as time went by, we just kind of didn’t hang out as much any more. It wasn’t that we weren’t friends any longer; it was just that our lives seemed to take different courses. We just got busy. The next thing you know, 20 years have passed.
That’s exactly what can happen in our relationship with God. We receive His forgiveness, we surrender out heart to Him, and we walk so close to Him that we can almost touch Him. We spend time in the Word, we pray, we share our faith with others, we’re at church every time the doors are open. Then, things happen. A little bit at a time, we find ourselves suddenly far away from our dearest Friend, and we aren’t sure how. You start to feel guilty then, and it becomes increasingly difficult to reach out to the one you were once so close to because you’re ashamed you haven’t reached out until now. The guilt piles up as our relationship with God grows more and more distant.
Understand that God loves you more than you can imagine. When you and I give our lives to Christ and allow Him to remake us into who He wants us to be, we become His friend (Luke 12:4; John 15:14-15; James 2:23). There’s really no need to be embarrassed to come back to Him, because He knows everything that has transpired in your life–He never left. You and I might not recognize the fact that He has been with us all along, but that doesn’t affect the reality of it. God has promised that He would never leave nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Hebrews 13:5). A promise like that from God means that we should have no fear of reconnecting with Him, and once again enjoying a friendship like no other.