Friendships are Messy

Friendships are Messy

When Jan prepares a meal or bakes goodies for noon birthday gatherings for her co-workers, the kitchen remains in a state of order during the entire process. It is disgusting. You can’t even tell that she is working on something. She cleans as she goes. She puts spices up right after using them. Something is wrong with that picture.

When I prepare meal, you know I have been there. There are pots stacked everywhere. There is a dusting of flour on the floor and more than a hint of sugar on the kitchen counter. The container of cinnamon and its lid are likely to get separated before everything is all over. If you walk through the kitchen, you might be taken aback. Or you might just realize that a culinary genius is at work.

My oldest son, Randall, commented during a recent visit home that things look scary when I am in the kitchen, but the final outcome is always good. Randall is known for his brutal honesty. He is not one to white wash the truth in order to spare feelings. I took his observation as a compliment.

I have thought about Randall’s comment a lot since then. I so wish that we could view our relationships with people in the same light. Relationships can be as messy as my kitchen. In most cases, we are doing our best to work toward a mutually fulfilling friendship.

Randall is confident that the final outcome of my cooking will be positive. That is actually not always true… But his positive expectations are good for both of us!  Let’s view the process of our friendships in the same way, even when things are complicated and perhaps unpleasant. The kitchen of life can be hot and messy and chaotic. Don’t give up. The final outcome is more likely to be good if we keep our attitude positive.

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