One of my favorite parts about re-watching all of the Star Trek movies last year was gaining a deeper sense of the characters’ relationships. The best movies from both Kirk’s and Picard’s crews focused on relationships that had been forged over the course of decades. My favorite moments from my life are the same; the moments I have shared with some of my oldest and best friends.
Sometimes, though, those moments pass and those friends move on. I was reminded of this reality at our staff retreat this past weekend. A number of my best and most beloved friends have moved on from our ministry. We had a tremendous season together but seasons change and people move onto new opportunities. I loved spending time with the leaders at our retreat, but a part of me missed having my other friends there as well.
Moments like that reaffirm the reality that God didn’t create us to live life alone. Even in a secular society Kirk, Spock and McCoy knew that they were better together. When Riker, Troi and Crusher moved on, Picard mourned the end of a season. We were made to be in authentic relationships, which necessarily means were also made for those seasons to end.
However, I never want mourning a past season to keep me from experiencing what God has right in front of my face. It’s true that a number of my best friends weren’t at our retreat this weekend. But I still had friends with whom I’ve been doing ministry for years and former students experiencing their first weekend away as a leader. Thinking about who wasn’t there could have kept me from creating memories and deepening relationships with those who were.
We shouldn’t view seasons ending and friends moving on as the loss of friendships. I still maintain those friendships and cherish the time I have to invest in them. We should instead view seasons ending as an opportunity to add to our stable of lifelong friends. We’re not replacing anybody but we have more time to invest in other friendships, friendships that could leave us just as sad when their season comes to an end.
But a little mourning at the end of a great friendship is worth experiencing a great friendship.