One of the joys of the journey in recent years has been the new connections and re-connections I have
made. The re-connections were with people who I had journeyed with years ago but who I had become disconnected from. Sometimes that was just down to the way our lives and callings developed, in terms of geography apart from anything else. But in many cases it was also because there was a culture, for whatever reason, in which disagreement and divergence seemed to require disconnection. Or that an end to a working partnership in ministry meant an end to relationship. And sometimes because my friend's 'enemy' was my 'enemy' (why enemies?!). Many of you know what I mean. I remember listening to a good friend and a mature, seasoned servant of God being asked a couple of years back what his greatest regret was over his 40 year involvement in the restoration movement. His answer was about the number of good friends and relationships he had lost; he said that he wished he'd realised earlier that 'not everyone who left me was my enemy!' Friends, this should never have been.
So I have really enjoyed re-connecting with old friends. In one case, it involved asking forgiveness of a friend who I had criticised for the pathway his journey had taken him, because I realised I had never taken the time to understand the pathway he was on; I just criticised it from a distance.
I have also really valued discovering new connections with other leaders, co-workers and many members of the Body who have become/are becoming new friends. It has been so good to realise how big and diverse the Body of Christ is. All of this, I am sure is just a small part of what God is doing as he rearranges things in his Body at the same time as showing just how wonderfully expansive is this kingdom we are part of.
In my next post,I want to say a little about the challenge of disconnection and the importance of maintaining connection, and of knowing when connections need to be loosened and when they need to be strengthened.