Today was the last time I will see them. All day I have been thinking about the fact that I will not see this particular group of friends (and some particular people in those groups) for the rest of my life.
Today we finished up the final championship of High School Bible Quizzing for the year. I will likely not compete next year, but, even if I do, many of the seniors will be gone. I dread the thought of never being able to see them, after making so many memories with them over the last few years.
This will be happening even more as I finish my last major year of High School. Unfortunately, parting for the last time – or at least for a long time – is a frequent occurrence in our lives. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that instead of simply regretting it, we should plan for partings.
There are, or course, things we can do to mitigate the lost opportunities of moving on. Social media is a commonly used tool, although is not a replacement for real interaction. Gathering friends’ contact information is wise, although people’s phone numbers and addresses change. In fact, one of the major changes I am trying to make to my life is not be shy about this. I am an introvert – and I believe that is actually an advantage – but there is a difference between being an introvert and being shy, and I need to be willing to talk to people and stay in touch.
Still, there is more we can do than simply collect contact information. I believe the best thing we can do before saying a final goodbye is to make an impact on the lives of those around us. Maybe they will never talk to us again, but when they remember us, will they remember the way we inspired them?
Before I moved to Tennessee, I knew a fellow cadet in Civil Air Patrol named Jared. I looked up to him a lot, even though he was a peer. He always had his uniform in great condition. He was a ready, confident leader. He earned cadet senior NCO of the year, and I knew he deserved it. I have not spoken to him since I moved, but I still remember him as an example to look up to.
I think Jared illustrates what we should all be: an example to those around us. 1 Timothy 4:12 exhorts us, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Even though we may not see some of our friends ever again here on earth, or until years have passed, they will likely remember us every now and then. When they do, how will they think of us? Will they have be challenged and inspired by our example?
We should not simply dread the thought of having to leave friends one day and forgetting the good times. Instead, we should work now to make an impact on them that they will never forget.
This post was updated on January 23, 2019 to revise the phrasing of a few sentences.
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About Nathaniel Hendry
I blog on common social issues from a reasoned, conservative Christian perspective in easy to understand writing. I am committed to academic excellence in writing and supported by solid reasoning and research.
About A Worthy Word
The Worthy Word isn't mine, but God's. I just try to explain the truly Worthy Word and encourage you from it.