This is a guest post written by the talented TK Dennis
Have you ever met someone that is genuinely awesome; someone who is respectful, fun, polite, positive, generous, and just plain cool to be around? Have you ever found yourself in a position where you don’t have a lot in common with this person, or perhaps truly don’t have time for a friendship with this person? I find myself in this situation all the time. I used to either find myself being depressed that I couldn’t be that friend they wanted me to be, or find myself coming up with every possible excuse as so why I couldn’t spend time with them because I didn’t have any relational energy. All the while feeling guilty because they are seriously awesome people that someone would be proud to know. Then I found my answer in a bag of Legos.
What do legos have to do with great people that i don’t have time for? Everything
Legos are awesome. I don’t care how old I get, Legos will always be a ton of fun to me. As a matter of fact, this big Minecraft phenomenon is essentially just people’s love for legos coming out digitally. I love every little aspect of Legos. I love the ability to build, but then make changes down the road. I love the ability to knock something really cool over and bust it into pieces Godzilla style when I’m all done. Most importantly, I love the feeling of two pieces snapping together.
Legos are little plastic bricks that snap together just like a button on a shirt or a cap on a bottle. However, Legos are different in the sense that they can be snapped up with multiple bricks. People are the same way. We snap up with each other in relationships, and are not limited to snapping up with just one other person.
There’s a catch though. Each Lego brick can only be snapped up to so many other bricks directly. Much like Legos, we find ourselves without the time, energy, or ability, to be snapped up in friendships with more than just a few people. Human beings do not generally have the capacity to have more than just a handful of deep and meaningful relationships in their life. This presents a huge problem for those of us who are already at their limit of relationships in their life, a situation that I call being “all snapped up.”
You can still help great people build great relationships, even if they aren’t ultimately going to build them with you
When a single Lego is all snapped up, and there’s no more room left to connect, the game isn’t over. This is just the beginning of playing with Legos. We begin to snap Legos up with those bricks that are already snapped up with us. This is not only an excellent networking practice, but it is also the best way to manage those awesome people in your life that you just don’t have time for. The truth is, these people you encounter that you may not personally have time to invest in have relational needs and desires just like everyone else. They want friends to hang out with, someone to call when times get rough, and people to do life with. We can do a bigger service for them by snapping them up with someone else who has time for them than try to fit them in our own over snapped lives.
I can’t tell you how many friends is too many, but I have found that my wife and I have a capacity of about four couples that we can really do life with in a meaningful way before our relationships become overburdensome and disconnected. Remember, there is only so much time in a week to connect with everyone you care about. There’s no shame in making a cut off, but you can still help those folks build an awesome relationship by snapping them up with someone else.
Have you ever found yourself in a place where you just don’t have enough time for all the friends you have?