Let’s face it, in life there are certain people we just like being around more than others. Our hearts are connected, by DNA or some other strong bond, and life is better, fuller, funnier, more fulfilling when we are with these people.
The more time we spend with them, the better life becomes.
Sometimes we’re forced to go long stretches away from those we love the most. Sometimes, they’re gone for good. All of the time we’ve spent investing in the relationship, all of the positive results of the investment become either temporarily or permanently unavailable.
One of the great tragedies of this life is that we almost always eventually end up living apart from those we love the most.
In the gospel, we see this reality closing in on Jesus and his disciples.
In John 13, the scriptures say, “Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
Jesus understood the ramifications of what was about to happen to Him on the lives of those who were closest to Him. The ones who loved Him most. His understanding led him, in chapter 14, to make this tender and beautiful promise to his friends: ”And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
Jesus gets it. He knows the power of being close, the importance of sharing the same space, the beauty of physical togetherness. What Jesus knew and understood took me a long time to figure out. I’ve lived long enough to finally learn life is richest and best when we spend our fleeting moments on this side of eternity with those we cherish and care about the most.
I think somewhere in my subconscious, I’ve known this all along. There have been opportunities to “advance my career” in other states over the years, and we walked away from those opportunities every time, mainly because of this truth: