I cherish good truth wherever I find it.
This great post was in last Friday’s mail. It speaks so well I chose not to editorialize.
A newlywed young man was sitting on the porch on a hot, humid day, sipping iced tea with his father. As he talked about adult life, marriage, responsibilities, and obligations, the father thoughtfully listened. He stirred the ice cubes in his glass and, when the son grew reflective and quiet, his dad cast a clear, sober look on his son.
“Never forget your friends,” he advised, “they will become more important as you get older. Regardless of how much you love your family and the children you happen to have, you will always need friends. Remember to go out with them occasionally, do activities with them, call them . . .”
“What strange advice!” Thought the young man. “I just entered the married world, I am an adult and surely my wife and the family that we will start will be everything I need to make sense of my life.”
Yet he obeyed his father. He kept in touch with his friends and annually increased their number. Over the years, he became aware that his father knew what he was talking about. Inasmuch as time and nature carry out their designs and mysteries on a man, friends were the bulwarks of his life.
After 60 years of life, here is what he learned:
Life goes on.
Children grow up and become independent; it breaks the parents’ hearts, but the children become separated from the parents.
Jobs come and go.
Illusions, desires, attraction, sex–they weaken and change.
People do not do what they should do.
The heart breaks.
Colleagues forget the favors.
The races are over.
But true friends are always there, no matter how many miles away they are, or for how long you’ve been separated.
A friend is never nearer than the reach of a need, intervening in your favor, waiting for you with open arms or blessing your life.
When we started this adventure called LIFE, we did not know of the incredible joys or sorrows that were ahead. We did not know how much we would need from each other. Love your parents, take care of your children, and keep a group of good friends too.
[Attributed to Jerry Lambert]
Tell me what you think. Some things in this life we deem important that, looking back, have little or no value at all. They were the tinsel, the ribbon on the real packages.
The true gifts, like the Giver of all good gifts, were obscured by the immediate glitz of the bright wrapping paper, what we thought was important. Well, friend, both of us have seen our wrapping paper dull a little, if it still exists. After sixty-some years, there’s little it once hid we don’t now see and appreciate more.
Some of you are close, old, trusted friends. At this stage of living, it’s a thing of rare joy to occasionally see your name and picture on social media and remember you. I remember as a kid getting missionary and Christian worker ‘prayer cards’ stuck in my hand, whether I wanted them or not. I now use our Facebook communication as a means of lifting you, your friendship, and your expressed or implied needs to God. I know I can trust Him to watch over you and yours, even while expecting Him to do the same for me.
It is equally a joysome thing to be remembered. For you, my dear, old friend, take a moment and think of our shared past. Consider the rich texture of our enduring friendship, mixing across years and miles like smooth milk chocolate and creamy caramel swirling together in the mixing bowl you just dipped your finger in.
And likely got smacked. It was worth it, though–hunh?
I’ve no way of knowing where these 2nd Cup posts eventually land. I know many read whom I’ll never personally know nor meet this side of God’s Heaven.
For you, my wish is that you stop right now, taking a few moments to reconnect with your own treasured collection of old friends. Reach over and open that package of who they are, and what they mean to you. While you’re doing that, remind yourself . . .
They don’t come any better. And you’ve got some of the best.
© D. Dean Boone, December 2017