I’ve been pretty sick all of Thanksgiving weekend. Bedridden. Zero energy. Out of it. Thankfully it’s a little cold that will be over soon and that’s not the point. The point is that this little cold got me thinking. The hours I’ve spent in my bed and on the couch have left much room for thought. And here’s something I came up with.
Everyone gets sick, right? Sometimes it’s a little thing, like what I caught but sometimes it’s much bigger and more life-threatening. Sometimes it’s just a sore throat and a bad cough, but other times it’s a chronic hospital stay, with ambulance lights and doctor’s orders. Here’s the thing I noticed about being sick: my new MacBook didn’t care. It didn’t bring me tea or call to check on me. And guess what? In those scary moments when you’re really sick or worse, your freshly detailed car doesn’t care. Those 34 trophies on that shelf in your closet couldn’t care less. Your new iPhone keeps lighting up with notifications that seem meaningless now in the wake of what’s happened to you, and it doesn’t care. All your money in the bank just sits there, waiting to be withdrawn. Your wallet isn’t going to get up and come ask you how you’re feeling. Neither is that new car or outfit or shiny thing you’ve had your eye on.
People will, though.
Your mom will make you tea, and your dad will call. Your best friend will bring you your favorite treat and your boyfriend will make you a card. You might get some text messages and Facebook posts. Maybe some balloons or flowers. But most of all? You’ll have people. You’ll have love. You’ll have support beneath your wings and kind words that propel you onward. You won’t remember the feeling of those new leather seats but I can promise that you’ll remember the feeling of your hand intertwined with another’s. You won’t remember rolling up to the bank and making a big deposit but you’ll remember those long, slow hugs he gave you. You aren’t going to ask to see those 34 trophies one last time, but you’ll sure ask to see your mama’s face again.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the “stuff” of this life and forget that it’s all fleeting. There will come a day when you can’t have it anymore, and very few will benefit from you passing it on. However, relationships are not fleeting. I believe connections are forever and they are not “no big deal.” They are a really big deal. They’re a big deal because if you are not focusing on the people in your life right now, there will come a day when they won’t focus on you. You will get out of them what you put into them. While it might not look like you need much help right now, give it a day. A month. A couple years. We were not meant to go at this life alone, but we can if we choose to. And what a lonely go that would be.
If you’re not nurturing your friendships and relationships, then what are you doing instead? Who are you going to be able to call when it’s all crashing down and who will be by your side in a heartbeat? Are you spending more time scrolling through Amazon than face-to-face with people who love you? Have you ever stopped and thought that maybe you’ve already missed out on someone who could’ve changed your life, simply because you didn’t show them that they mattered to you?
It doesn’t take much, trust me. A call. A hug. A cup of coffee. Put intentional actions behind the connections you’ve been blessed with, and watch them grow. “Stuff” is cool, but it will leave you empty and unfulfilled in time. There’s something about people that we were created to be drawn to…the feeling and depth of being together. Who did you invite to your house for Thanksgiving dinner? People. Who do you like to talk to and laugh with? People. And sure, your trucks and electronics don’t whine or cry or complain. But when’s the last time they smiled, laughed, or called you by your name?