Just Friends

21 Jun

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, or so I’ve heard. Of course, if you take this to its logical conclusion and include all permutations, I must end up being a friend of all those who are my friend. This sounds fair enough, but then we get to the bad part, where I must end up being an enemy of any and all who end up at odds with my friends, who are (again, by extension) now included an endless array of all those that happen to be friends with my friends.

If we are, in fact, within six degrees of separation of everyone on the planet, I fear that means that at some point, I have either a friend/enemy relationship with everyone on the planet, and it would start some sort of war. And while some people might like to view life as a game of Cosmic Playground wars, I fear what might happen if I slip into this mindset.

There are several people who view a phase or two of life in this way. Don’t believe me? Think how irritated you were at the last election where your candidate lost. Immediately thereafter, you find out a friend, whom you previously respected, believed a different way than you did on that election. At that point, the black and white nature of your political feelings may make you disgruntled. Nevertheless, consider that whatever historical period you feel made the most progress, it was colored with heroes on both sides of the political debate.

Let’s say that politics are not your bailey-wick. Recently, almost everywhere I go, people are talking about the NBA Finals. Most seem to want the Miami Heat to lose. Now, not to turn into too much of a LeBron James apologist, but I never have understood why people dislike the man. His main criticism within the game is that he passes too much; his main criticism outside the game is that he turned down more money for a greater chance to win. Neither of those seem like things to villainize, and yet, most people that I run into just don’t like him.

So, as I watch the game between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder and know that many people will be livid with the result going one way or the other. I have friends on both side of the situation. This is why I am hesitant to hinge any of my hopes on any singular activity and align against another set of people who are cheering the other way.

Most of all, I watch the basketball game, and I see a man named LeBron who just is coming to life at the proper time. I watch Kevin Durant, and I see a man who is approximately on the same pace as LeBron was several years ago. I realize that I can look at both, and not really cheer against either. I am coming to the point where I realize that timing is important in these things.

Timing is really important. Much of life involves just having things come into place at the right time. Therefore, I think the important thing to do in life is to recognize the proper timing. When is the correct time to leave a job? When is the proper time to move? When is the proper time to call an expert? When is the proper time to make that big purchase? When is the correct time to let a disagreement become a test of fellowship?

Is there ever a time to take into account someone’s differences and allow it to shape the friendship (or rather, make them an enemy)? There’s the rub. We know that differences will come. We know that disagreements will come. But when do we allow those differences to make a sharp division? And, if you can answer that, you deserve to be my friend (and I guess I’ll adopt all your enemies)!

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2 Responses to “Just Friends”

  1. Jack Pelham June 22, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    Matt,You asked: "When is the correct time to let a disagreement become a test of fellowship?"It depends on what your own life is about. If it's about seeking popularity or avoiding conflict, then the answer is "never". If it's about seeking, acknowledging, and implementing the TRUTH in all situations, or about always doing the right thing, then you're going to have LOTS of people with whom you adamantly disagree and cannot get along comfortably.Interestingly, basketball does not generally have moral, philosophical, political, or religious implications, and is, therefore, simply not as important as the weightier matters of life. How interesting that so many are willing to be divided from one another over matters of opinion on such a lightweight topic, and yet RUN from conflict on the weightier matters.Jack

  2. Jenni May 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    Well, unfortunately for you, basketball is not my bailey-wick. And apparently unfortunately for Jack, politics are not my bailey-wick. Deep perplexities, however, ARE my bailey-wick. So I am currently wondering… if the enemy of my enemy is my friend, but if that person is also an enemy of one of my friends, therefore making him my enemy, then how in the world would I figure out how to actually label said person?

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