Warning: I am openly confessing to you now that I am idealist and an optimist. I see hope and I see the hope of the best things working out. That being said, please read and be encouraged.
Perhaps the most interesting, long lasting, breath taking encounters with dragons we have in life are the relationships we invest in. From family relationships to friendships to romantic relationships, these can be the most beautiful or most horrifying dragons out there. Everyone I know has been in a bad relationship – with a family member, friend, or romance. On the plus side, I don’t know of anyone who could say they have never had a positive relationship with another person. Sure, some people have more negative relationships than they do positive, and that is extremely disheartening, but there is hope in the good relationships that exist.
Relationships with family are some of the most fundamental, impactful relationships you will ever have. Unfortunately, this means negative family relationships will impact you for a painfully long time. This is one reason why everyone needs to give their best efforts into these relationships. A great parent will transform their child. A bad parent will cause serious harm to their child. Invest in your families. Your parents, siblings, children, extended family – these relationships will be around you throughout your life. Your relationships with family are intertwined; do not be the cause of pain and hardship in your family’s life.
Relationships with friends are a tricky thing, as we have all seen “best” friends come and go. I have been a best friend for a year, and a best friend for a decade. No matter how long your friendships last, I strongly encourage you to give your best effort into these relationships. Do not let a bad day at school or work affect your friendships in such negative ways that you would risk losing that relationship. Friends bring smiles, and friends can bring tears. Be the friend you always wanted, and you should not be at fault when a friendship falls apart. And if that friendship disintegrates, I encourage you to keep grace in mind for when you interact with them again. Some friendships may fall apart in rough ways, and while that is heartbreaking in the moment, do not let that pain stop you from interacting with others and establishing new friendships. Friends are intertwined in the days of your life. Many days have different friends, but do not let past pain interfere with the joy that future friendships will bring you
Romantic relationships – the hardest but most beautiful intertwining relationship you will ever have. This is the primary reason I was not a fan of dating young (by young I mean teenage years, not that 10 year old bf/gf stuff. There’s no reason for that). For a romantic relationship to be successful and enduring, both involved need to put all their effort into the relationship – emotions, thoughts, energy, all of it. There is no greater intertwining physical relationship (I will do a separate post on spiritual relationships later). Your boyfriend or girlfriend could turn into your spouse. Or in a real sense with our culture, your boyfriend/girlfriend could be the father/mother of your child before being your spouse. So I encourage caution and wisdom as you invest into a relationship – and I do mean invest! Even at age fifteen you are investing emotions and memories. That first kiss? Those special songs? Romantic relationships intertwine your soul with another person. Do not underestimate the power of romantic love. Why are love movies, songs, books, and poems so popular? Because they reach out to the very soul of what we long for – intimate relationship. Next week I’ll discuss why I believe we long for that (hint hint: I believe in God). But for now, I want to stick with the intimacy of love.
Almost a year ago I began talking with cute woman named Ashley. I followed Ashley on Twitter and we were friends on Facebook because when we were young (age 9-14ish) we went to the same church summer camp. Now to our recollection, we only ever talked once – and that was when she visited one summer when I was teaching her sisters. Anyways, that flirting on Twitter turned into texting which turned into meeting up which turned into dating which turned a couple weeks ago to being engaged! It has been a crazy ride. And she is a crazy, beautiful, magnificent dragon. You know those creatures in movies or books that are so awesome and terrifying you can almost do nothing except for stare and gawk? Yeah, that’s the type of dragon Ashley is. Here’s the thing about falling in love – you hand the key to your heart over to that person and trust them not to shatter you. It’s breathtaking, risky, crazy, and yet the most rewarding and thrilling relationship you could ever be intertwined with. Falling in love will lead to crazy adventure. The person you love will be the most wonderful, powerful, significant dragon you’ll ever encounter. Shame on you if you walk away from such an encounter. When you find that dragon, don’t let it out of your sights. Risk you heart, risk your security, and pursue that dragon.
May you encounter the most beautiful, amazing, lovely dragon. And may you both be intricately intertwined.