I’ve been spending some time on Facebook and MySpace lately, and in just the few months since creating my profiles, I’ve added lots of friends to these pages. Old friends from high school, some from college, younger friends, older friends, church friends, and family friends! And then there’s my friends in real life. I have Christian friends, atheist friends, and Buddhist friends. I have close friends that I talk with regularly, “floating” friends who weave in and out of the years with hardly a missed step when we get back together, and acquaintance friends who I would like to get to know better.
If you have ever changed schools or moved to a different city, then you understand how important it is to make friends in real life. Online friends are great, but nothing substitutes for face-to-face interaction, and I don’t mean through tagged photos. We need to see and be seen, hear and be heard, understand and be understood. I have grown so much spiritually through interacting on a regular basis with my closest friends. There’s something about the constant push and pull of acting out my faith within friendship. When I need something, I need to be humble and ask for help. When they need something, I need to put myself aside and serve. When we disagree, we need to work that out with love and understanding. They see my flaws, and I see theirs, and we’re friends anyway.
If you have recently gone to college or changed environments, then I would encourage you to reach out to others, all kinds of other people, as you continue to develop your relationship with God. There’s a friend out there who needs you!