A few months ago, the world seemed to pause at the news that Kobe Bryant had tragically died, along with his daughter and other friends. His death was tragic and unexpected and it seemed as if social media became a place for the world to mourn together.
I listened to his friends as they spoke of him in interviews and in his eulogy in Los Angeles. One of the ideas that was repeatedly mentioned was to “hug your children today,” and “tell your family you love them.” It was a plea from those who mourned to make the most of every moment with those whom you love. I understand the sentiment, but believe there is a higher view to take.
In the Bible, James 4:3 says, Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and make a profit-” yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while then vanishes.
When we experience grief or pain, it often allows us a fresh perspective on our lives. I think that was happening after Kobe died. Many of his friends realized the brevity of life and their message was that we need to love well today and place no guarantees on our tomorrow.
As a Pastor, I meet with people and talk with people almost every day. It’s one of the great benefits of leading a church. I have access to peoples lives and their stories. It is an incredible blessing to grow deep in relationships and share life with so many people. What I have learned through relationships is that most frustrations, issues, and misunderstandings are remedied with honest, loving conversations.
If you are struggling with a relationship or if there are any unsaid frustrations, have a conversation. If you are frustrated and ready to walk away, sit together with that person and talk with them. Our access to digital communications like social media, email, and text makes it tempting for us to avoid live conversations. For casual communication, those methods are convenient, but for honest and necessary conversations, we need to see each others face or hear each others voice.
We do need to hug our kids more and tell our families we love them. But not out of fear that our time with them may be cut short. But because we see each day that God has given us as an opportunity to grow deep in our relationships. To live with the promise that we are better when we share our lives with others.
So, have that conversation.
Make that phone call.
Share that coffee.
Go on that walk.
We need each other and we need life giving conversations.