The change? Make time for people. Abundant, generous, consistent time.
I said simple. I didn’t say easy.
I keep thinking I’m already good at this, and keep discovering I’m not.
Yesterday, I got together with a new friend. I suggested getting together, just the two of us, during a time I usually work.
I almost told her I could only stay an hour.
Something (thank God) stopped me.
Nearly the whole conversation was about her discovering again and again that the people around her had no time for real friendship. She kept repeating certain words when describing our culture: “busy”, “cold,” “distant”.
She has spent years struggling with this.
I nodded, and commiserated (after all, I feel rejected by that busyness too), and inside, I was alternately feeling ill and thanking God for keeping my mouth shut.
Now let me be clear: I must make time for people—including myself. I won’t offer up my alone time every week.
But I offered to meet during that time. If I offered, I needed to be generous with the time, not try to give and take away in the same breath.
The experience reminded me of another blessing I’ve had recently. A family we’re getting to know has an “open to all” barbeque nearly every week. We’ve been attending since we found out about it.
I sometimes worry that they’ll change their invite policy to “closed to some” if we attend too often.
But we keep going. And honestly, being welcomed over and over, so easily, so abundantly, is amazing.
It feels profoundly counter-cultural. I’m used to having to schedule dinners with other families weeks, sometimes months, ahead of time. To experience something different is a little shocking.
Their generosity has challenged me to think about whether I’m making space in our schedule to connect. How can I share my time, my space, my resources, and show hospitality? How can I be open to other people?
Because this abundance, this openness to people is something I dearly want more of.
Have you experienced the abundant generosity of time with any friends? How has it impacted that friendship?