Counting the Cost

While visiting with another mom the other day, I asked if she was getting excited about her family’s upcoming move.

“I’m really going to miss my friends,” she said.

“It’s only two hours away so you can come back on weekends,” I replied, trying to make her feel better.

“And we’ll visit you,” I added.

“That’s right, you like to travel.”

“I don’t like to travel,” I corrected. “I like who we travel to see.”

It’s been said that people will do what’s important to them at their own inconvenience. Friends are important to me. So important that I look for reasons to reconnect with the ones who live far away. Those reasons have taken our family to Florida, New York, California, Arizona, and several states in between. If I were to count the cost of those trips, it would pale in comparison to the price that so many pay for never having gone. People like the woman I met shortly after moving to Chicago. We were still getting to know each other when I mentioned that, although our family had no plans to move again, there was a chance that my husband’s company would ask us to relocate in five or ten years. Immediately upon hearing this, the woman exclaimed: “Why would I spend time getting to know you if you might leave me in five years?”

Although her words remind me of the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem where he said “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” I don’t view a friend’s move as a loss. To me, it’s an opportunity to show that person how much she matters. Those who do cross the miles will be relieved to find that one new memory has the power to bridge even a decade of silence. I’ve seen this happen again and again in my own life. Like last year when we traveled to Minneapolis to reconnect with a couple who left Nebraska before Katie and Hollie were born. As soon as we sat down to dinner, the miles melted away and my only regret was that we hadn’t gotten together sooner.

What that trip to Minneapolis taught me (and the lesson that I share with you today) is that Proverbs 27:10 tells us not to forsake others for good reasons—because relationships worth keeping are worth keeping in good condition; and no matter how much time passes, it’s never too late to pick up where you left off with a friend.

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