Weekend with Good Friends

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Ras & Maas came to visit this weekend, and we visited Uncle Dan & Aunt Vicki’s cabin on Orcas Island (thanks, as always, Dan & Vicki!!!) Friends are important; maybe one of the most important things. CS Lewis’ quote rings as true now as when I first read it in college:

“friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life. If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man about a place to live, I think I should say, ‘sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends.’ “

These two men beside me are my best friends since high school. Without going through the long list, it’s safe to say that we’ve been through a lot together. And, when Ras commented that at “25-year friendship feels different than a 10-year one”, it hit me in a whole new way. Sure, it’s obvious in one respect. But the real special thing it made me focus on is how we’ve been through many “cycles” of life (different schools, ‘just starting out’, first job, dating, just married, first kid, moving homes, tragedy, etc.). It’s the cycles that have this interesting mix of the old and the new, the familiar and the surprising. And that’s a real treasure.

As drove home from the airport, I thanked God for this great weekend. Here’s what I found myself thanking Him for:

  • Remembering me: they remind you of who you used to be: this could be good, bad, or neutral, but people who’ve known you a long time have the ability to take you back in time and remember the rhythms of your personality when you were much younger. You find yourself laughing about things you forgot about, or reacting to things in ways you no longer do.
  • Familiar Patterns‘: because good friends often share a lot with you (eg, personality, humor, outlook, convictions), they remind you that even though life changes a lot, there is also an underlying similarity that doesn’t change.
  • Convictions: I’m often thinking something like, ‘if _______ can do ________, then I should be able to do that too!’ It takes a friend who you started off with to convict you in this way.
  • Sharing pains: the struggles we have can take on a new light when shared amongst people who truly care.
  • Prayer: and, because of all of the above, their prayer means a lot more to you.
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