A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)
A year ago, I read an article in the New York Times about today’s twenty somethings, also nicknamed, “Emerging Adults.” The article helped me understand my sons’ generation which is very different from my generation. When I was in my twenties, there was a rule, sometimes spoken, sometimes assumed, that by the time you were thirty, you needed to have finished college, gotten a job, married and begun your family. People who waited to do those things in their thirties were considered unusual. Now, however, the decade of the twenties is one of experimentation and time to find yourself. Young adults are delaying decisions about education, career, and relationships and trying out a variety of situations changing jobs and locations with a regularity that makes people my age very uncomfortable. “Why don’t you settle down?” we wonder. This generation will not choose a career and work at the same job for thirty plus years. They will be mobile and are not held to a place or position by friendships. With computers and cell phones, they can maintain friendships from anywhere in the world. While I don’t have much in common with a person who has ten or more jobs in a decade and moves almost as much, I can relate to the friendships found and maintained through social networking. Since I started blogging almost five years ago, I have made friends with people I have never met. I know the names of their dogs and their family. I have read stories about their jobs and their neighbors and seen pictures of their homes and vacations. And I have shared that information about my life as well. People ask me how I could be so public about what used to be written in a locked diary slipped between a mattress and box spring. It is the pleasure of those long distance relationships that keeps me posting. But, the old fashioned way of doing things is still preferable and so when I get to meet one of my “Internet friends” as husband calls them, it is a great joy. Today, we traveled to Birmingham to join Annie and Jack for dinner. Some people might think it odd that you can quickly be comfortable with someone you have never met, but when you have shared so much of your life with someone even when it is virtual, there is an instant connection. We had great conversation about dogs, chickens, weather, careers, art, and the things we hold most dear. Annie is true to her blog, honest, open, and kind. Jack is lucky to have found her and she blessed to have Jack. We enjoyed meeting them and look forward to more conversations, through writing or someday, again in person. There is someone else Who wants to be your friend. For many of us, the relationship starts with reading about Him in His Word, but it can progress to a personal relationship. You just have to be open to the possibilities. God’s calling. Are you listening?