Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.– Ben Franklin

(This is a repost of one of my very first blogs written one year, three hundred sixty-four days ago.  It tells exactly where my heart finds itself today.  I truly have the best friends)

My love cup is full. I just filled a weekend spending time with the best of friends. It is never enough time with them and that is precisely how I know that these friendships are the real deal.
It’s left me thankful this morning for people who see me and know me and still love me.
“Happiness is time spent with a friend and looking foward to sharing time with them again.”
– Lee Wilkinson

Of course, it also leaves me pensive…

I believe wholeheartedly that the word “friend” is bandied about just as carelessly as the word “love” and the word “awesome.” I already covered “love” in a previous posting. “Awesome” is a word I use daily and shouldn’t. When I stood at the Grand Canyon and marveled at creation at its finest, that was awesome. When my children first showed me their little faces and I was profoundly moved at what God had made–that was awesome. There are a few, but only a few other moments in my life that qualify the use of that word.

Now for friendship. Facebook puts it into perspective for me. In a world where we are now all “friends” with people from every single stage of our lives in a way that wasn’t even possible just a few years ago, it stands to be evaluated. What is my standard for allowing people into my life?

“True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in their worth and choice.”
– Samuel Johnston

I’ve always told my kids that success in life is not measured by how many guests come to your birthday party. I could begin to talk about what I do think success is, but that is definitely a whole separate blog! Funny, though, to some adults now, success seems to be measured by the number of facebook friends!

“Little do men percieve what solitude is, and how far it extendeth. For a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.”
– Francis Bacon

So, let’s be honest for a moment and talk about friends.

There are the ones that we let into the circle of trust. You know that circle. Inside it are very few people. They are the ones you call when you’re sick and you need help. Or the ones who you don’t clean the house for. These are the ones who come first when your dad dies and cry with you. They are the ones who tell you you’re ridiculous for complaining about something stupid your husband says and remind you of who he is, not what he said. They love your children almost as much as you do and cry with you when those same children leave home.
These are rare and beautiful. They come along maybe once in a lifetime. They are to be cherished.

“I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with the roughest courage. When they are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, but the solidest thing we know.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Then we have the friends that we thought were the first variety. Unfortunately, these friends look and sound like the first lovely friends, but when push comes to shove and you need a little love, well……
These are the friends who did let the boy come between you or saw a chance to use your shoulders to bump them up to something greater and took it.
These are the ones that we see down the aisle at Meijer and we quickly turn the other way and pray they didn’t see us. And then we spend the rest of the grocery shopping experience peering and ducking and hoping we make a clean getaway.
You know what, on second thought let’s not talk about those friends. Suffice it to say, we’ve all been there.

“Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.”
– Aristotle

Next group, genuinely great people who we really, really like and when we see them we are excited to catch up and usually say, “You know, we really should get together!” but somehow both parties know that will probably never happen. We wish it would in a way, but in our crazy lives filled with obligations and rare free time, we are hopefully using those rare free moments to fill with our very favorite things.

I found a new group this year. I only found it as we are removed from our traditional setting where we make friends. We have been outside of any church body for almost a year. No, we are not rebelling. Just resting. We’ve been in ministry for so long and needed some time to see straight. We were brought to a place of perspective–on the outside looking in. Can I just tell you, the view is simply FASCINATING!!!!! But, I digress.
In this time where worship is not just a Sunday morning experience but a complete lifestyle, and as we have traveled the country with that mindset prevalent in our minds, we have found the most interesting thing.
True, deep friendships can be made in a moment when they are brought together because of a like Spirit. When God diverts your path in an obvious way to cross paths with someone unlikely and in about ten seconds you find out that they not only believe what you do, but are passionate about the same things and moving in the same purpose, your life changes. Church happens. And there is a promise of a future for this friendship but perhaps only after this life ends.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious, it is the true sourse of art, science, and friendship.”
– Albert Einstein

Kinda makes me wanna update my friend list.

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