Chinese Christian Herald Crusades UK

青年園地: Different Friendships for Different Seasons

文/Andy Lee





So I’ve just spent the weekend hanging out with my friend whom I haven’t seen for a good few years. We first met 17 years ago at University. It was to be the start of a long and fruitful friendship, one that contained many tales worth telling, and probably many more that aren’t! As we regaled one another with stories from the past, I had completely forgotten that we once got caught cheating on an assignment. (And may I take this opportunity to say that I do not condone cheating of any kind, and that it will only serve to increase the distance from which you will fall one day). However, if hypothetically you were to cheat, make sure you’re confident that at least one of you knows the answer. We got caught because we both used the same erroneous workings out and calculations to formulate the same incorrect answer. Double duh.





Thankfully, we didn’t just have stories of sleeping through lectures, drinking and cheating on assignments to recount. My friend also became a Christian. I’m surprised even to this day at how God used me to connect with him. I was relatively new in my faith too and there were certainly areas of my life that were self-seeking rather than God-seeking. But that is God for you, never underestimate what He does and how He does it. So over the next decade we moved through the various chapters of life and not all of it together. We were best man at each other’s wedding, only a month apart. But then our careers began to take us on different paths and today we live in different countries. Whilst we did our best to relive the glory days of studenthood, it was very evident that we were no longer the same people we once were (definitely a good thing!). But there is beauty in that. It meant that our friendship isn’t based on the people that we once were, but is still going strong based on the people we’ve become. From politics to Church ministry, family to finances, Arsenal to Manchester United, as long as we are open, optimistic and secure in ourselves, then the friendship will keep going. It isn’t based merely on memories of the past, but on the continuing mutual desire to stay connected.






There are certainly different levels of friendships, and not all last. Some fade over time. Some fade with circumstances. And some fade because the common elements of the friendship no longer apply, like changes in core values or beliefs. However, just as there are different seasons of life, friendships also come and go in seasons. Sometimes it is healthy to carry out a stocktake of the friends we have and make a conscious decision to let some go in order to make more space to invest in others. In letting go, I’m talking about emotionally and mentally as much as I’m talking about the practical sense of meeting up and doing life together. Rather than being disappointed that your once best friend is now a distant memory, celebrate the fact that you have had that season in your life. Be thankful for that chapter of your life where you went on holiday together, shared meals, kept each other’s secrets, and helped each other through tough times. But be careful of holding on to a memory and cherishing it to the point of distracting you from the present, because the price you might be paying for that is new and fruitful friendships in your life today.



So after hanging out with my good friend this weekend I’ve realised that our particular friendship hasn’t drifted. I’m super thankful for that. I believe that it’s still going strong because firstly there is a mutual desire for it to continue, and secondly we allow space for it to evolve. We’ve matured (hopefully), developed new views, been through different experiences and struggles. It’s like becoming friends all over again as we catch up. These are the kinds of friendships that last. These friendships aren’t categorised into seasons. They don’t need to be. Everyone would be better off with these kinds of friendships. They enrich our lives. Indeed they have definitely enriched mine.