I mostly love Facebook’s On This Day feature. Yep, it’s that daily reminder you get about things that happened on the same day last year, the year before that, and so on. I’m nostalgic and I love being sucked into certain memories, so I’m definitely their market. Even before Facebook had the feature, I was already an enthusiast of Timehop, which does the same thing only including other social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram).
There’s just something fun and heart-melting to look back at moments in the past. Just recently, I got a “throwback” from 2011–that year of my ultimate spiritual high. During that time (when I had a brand new encounter with Jesus), I could not talk or think about anything else but my faith, which led me to be very active in starting up our office Bible study group. I got really close with this spiritual family, and Facebook reminded me that we used to be so attached with each other to the point of texting and chatting everyday, spending the night in someone’s house, making it a point to attend Friday Night Light (FNL) in CCF Makati every Friday despite our work schedules, and actually looking forward to our Thursday gatherings (and pushing through with the session as long as there are at least 2 people available). Months passed and some eventually resigned, which caused a decline in our being clingy. Without me realizing it then, text messages and private messages became less frequent, reasons/excuses suddenly came up to justify non-attendance in FNL, and Thursdays became more of a chore. I remain to be friends with the group, but our closeness definitely had a falling out.
While I was reminiscing about this group of friends, I felt a pinch of regret. We had something good. Why did I let it go? I started to blame myself about what happened. Should I have exerted more effort to maintain the relationship? What could I have done differently? Will we ever have something as good as what we had? Questions started to pour in, and even worse, I realized that it wasn’t just that certain group of friends that I had regrets about. I remembered my high school guy friends whom I used to talk to about NBA. I remembered my first team at work and how clingy we were after our Boracay trip that we’d spend 5 hours after work just to eat and hang out. I remembered some girl friends from HS who were my constant weekend companions and daily chatmates. I remembered some friends in the office who used to be the only occupants of every free minute I had at work. There were so many great friendships in my life and the greatness just had to dwindle down. It left a bitter taste in my mouth. I got frustrated.
During that time of frustration though, God met me and addressed my need by reminding me about this truth:
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1
People come into our lives for certain seasons. During a season of difficulty, we could be given someone to lighten our load or to make us laugh a little. During a season of prosperity, we could be given someone to bless or to share our overflow with. During a season of loneliness, we could be given a companion or a friend who likes to give random hugs. During a season of struggle and discouragement, we could be given a Barnabas (to our Paul) or a Jonathan (to our David). And the list goes on and on.
I don’t discount the fact that there are some people who are meant to stay throughout our lifetime, but majority of the people we encounter are really just passersby. As soon as their purpose in our lives has been served, they leave. Whether this leaving is caused by a fight (you may have instigated it or not), a death, or just an inevitable falling out, I am reminded that these people were really just meant to stay until their “work” is done.
Putting that in mind, my regrets were replaced with gratitude. I looked back at these relationships and realized that I learned from each and every one of them. Who I am today can be attributed in some way to these friendships that I’ve had. Regardless of the duration (as some just dropped by for a day, and some stayed for a few years), these people made an impact in my life. You know how they say that it’s better to have loved and lost? Well, it’s better to have had great moments and great friendships and lost them than to have never met these great people at all. Kinda cheesy, but totally true.
It is my prayer that as we put this reflection to heart, we’d learn to: (1) be thankful for people whose seasons have already passed, (2) make the most of the time we have with people who are part of our current season, and (3) welcome new people who are to meant to be a part of the next season of our lives.
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do. – Anonymous
To everyone whose season in my life has already wrapped up: Thank you for passing by. I hope that I also served my purpose for when I was in your life :)