I was having trouble sleeping the other night. I woke up around 4 a.m., my mind racing. This isn’t unusual for me. As a creative thinker and writer, I always seem to have ideas whizzing through my brain, often at times most might view as inconvenient, like 4 in the morning.
In particular, one thing had been weighing heavy on my mind the week prior. I had not heard from someone I thought of as a close friend for quite some time. I suspected it may have been due to something I had done which upset him. However, I had brushed this idea aside hoping that it was just our busy, hectic and stressful lives of late which had caused us to lose touch.
Unfortunately, my hopes were not the case. I had indeed upset my friend, enough to the point that when I did finally reach out to him to discuss what had happened, he kindly told they had chosen to distance himself from me.
"Why would this be?" you might ask.
Over the past year I've changed my personal viewpoints on some things. I have also become stronger in my personal convictions on other topics. Because of this change in thinking I have lost a few friends. I have also gained many more – many of which are even more inspiring people than I could have ever imagined having the honor to call friends.
That night as I awoke at 4 a.m. my mind went immediately to a book I have been reading, Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge. This book is an intriguing analysis of the humanity and personality of Jesus Christ. At that early morning hour as I read the seventh chapter, an account that focused on the disruptive honesty of Jesus, a particular quote struck a chord with me:
"The spirit of our day is a soft acceptance of everything - except deep conviction in anything."
Conviction, along with passion, honesty, and humility are some of the qualities I admire in others and strive to attain in myself each and every day. I continuously try (emphasis on the word TRY) to keep an open mind and understand the possibility exists my personal convictions may in fact be wrong from time to time.
I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. The world would be a heck of a boring place if we agreed on everything all the time. I understand that, at times, our strong personal convictions and views on specific issues can be too much for some people. It times like these, when experiences like the one with my friend arise.
It is also at these times when we must take a step back and evaluate exactly what caused this to happen in the first place. Did our choice to change our minds or become stronger in our convictions bring about positive or negative change in our lives?
For me personally, it has brought about new friendships, experiences and a renewed confidence in my abilities. In turn, that has allowed me to take my life to another level: one which I am more comfortable and happier in than at any other time in my life.
I suppose the friendship I spoke of was just a stepping stone along the path to this place. I am thankful to have known my friend and wish him the best in his journey to find that happy place. I can only hope he one day knows this feeling I have found.