Today we focus on “Friends.”
Facebook may have forever blurred the lines between “friends” and “acquaintances.” Many years ago I heard a quote, “Be careful that you have not too many friends.” The speaker realized how hard it is to keep a relationship healthy amongst true friends. As Samuel Butler said, “Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.”
Henry David Thoreau in his book Walden describes a friend of his that in turn set a goal for how I want to be remembered; this is my desired character, admittedly not my current situation, a target not a boast:
I think that he must be the man of the most faith of any alive. His words and attitude always suppose a better state of things than other men are acquainted with, and he will be the last man to be disappointed as the ages revolve. He has no venture in the present. But though comparatively disregarded now, when his day comes, laws unsuspected by most will take effect, and masters of families and rulers will come to him for advice.
“How blind that cannot see serenity!”
A true friend of man; almost the only friend of human progress. An Old Mortality, say rather an Immortality, with unwearied patience and faith making plain the image engraven in men’s bodies, the God of whom they are but defaced and leaning monuments. With his hospitable intellect he embraces children, beggars, insane, and scholars, and entertains the thought of all, adding to it commonly some breadth and elegance. I think that he should keep a caravansary on the world’s highway, where philosophers of all nations might put up, and on his sign should be printed,
“Entertainment for man, but not for his beast. Enter ye that have leisure and a quiet mind, who earnestly seek the right road.”
He is perhaps the sanest man and has the fewest crotchets of any I chance to know; the same yesterday and tomorrow. Of yore we had sauntered and talked, and effectually put the world behind us; for he was pledged to no institution in it, freeborn, ingenuus. Whichever way we turned, it seemed that the heavens and the earth had met together, since he enhanced the beauty of the landscape. A blue-robed man, whose fittest roof is the overarching sky which reflects his serenity. I do not see how he can ever die; Nature cannot spare him.
As I said when I began this post, this is my desired character, admittedly not my current situation, a target not a boast.
Strive today to surround yourself with friends like Thoreau describes above. Or even better try to be that type of friend to those around you. Remember what Proverbs says, “When you please the Lord, you can make your enemies into friends.” (Proverbs 16:7) And how do we please the Lord? “…walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10)
Your fellow traveler on the path to increasing in the knowledge of God,