Last night I spent about 30 minutes talking with an old friend on the telephone. It had been a few years since we had connected, so it was really good to catch up.
There’s a special feeling I get when I think of my old friends. Feelings of love and acceptance to be sure, but even more than that, the feeling of value. Worth.
Imagining someone would consider me worth enough to continually invest in my life. A phone call, a prayer, concern and care, a word of encouragement, a tear or two; time spent with me and for me.
My wife and I are so blessed. We have friends from high school, friends we met while I was in the Army, friends from the old workplace, church; from times that seem so long ago…
The value of old friends. Friends you see maybe once every other year, and talk with on the phone maybe once in a blue moon. But the moment you begin talking, you pick right up where you left off.
Several things come to mind as I think of my old friends (with a smile, I may add).
One, you never know how long you have on earth to nurture friendships, so it’s imperative you don’t waste any time in doing so. In other words, be friendly so friendships can be built.
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly…” (Proverbs 18:24). Friendships are never entirely one sided. At times, one friend may need a lot more help than the other. But over time, and with no one keeping track, it doesn’t matter. It’s just part of being old friends.
“Give, and it will be given…the way you measure out is how it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). What you value in a friendship should be your guide to being a good friend.
Two, old friends were once a new acquaintance. Somehow, and maybe it’s beyond your ability to recall, you became friends with someone and just kept at it. Maybe there were things to overlook at times, or serious discussions which had to happen to preserve the valued friendship. Maybe someone, like yourself, needed to say, “I’m sorry”, or, “I forgive you.”
All for the sake of the friendship.
Three, it takes a lot more to end a true, valued friendship, than a disagreement on political or religious views. Though Facebook allows you to “unfriend” someone with the click of a button, real life requires much more.
If a click of a button can end a friendship, there probably wasn’t much of a friendship to begin with.
I am so thankful for old friends. The older I get, the more I value them.
And that’s why I am going to keep nurturing the newer friendships I have. Whether it’s a new found friend I just met, or someone I’ve known for a couple of years, I will do what I can to be the kind of friend I’d like to have.
Do you need encouragement, help fixing a broken lawn mower, prayer, someone to get in your face with truth and love?
Count on me.
Would you like someone to walk with you as you experience pain, disappointment, or loss?
Count on me.
It’s what friends do.
It’s what old friends have done through the years.