A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
I have been blessed with good friends throughout my entire life, although there has been a natural ebb and flow as to which friends have been closest along the way. New friends come along. Some old friends stay close, while others somehow fade away. Facebook comes along, allowing me to rekindle friendships with the brothers of week-long friends from VBS at my grandparents’ church when I was in pre-kindergarten, if I so desire.
Okay, not all “friends” are created equal, especially in the techno-communication world in which we live today. But real friends – those brothers with whom I can share the good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives – make a profound difference in my journey. Whether our primary point of connection comes from church, work, Men’s Fraternity, neighborhood, or other fellowship, these are the guys who help me live up to my best. And I really want to live up to my best.
Just a few months ago, a friend of mine sent me a G-mail instant message that sparked a dialogue that simply couldn’t be resolved via such an impersonal format. (I believe the topic was, “What is the nature of the Trinity?” Light stuff, right?) We decided Raising Cane’s (home of the best chicken fingers and dipping sauce on the planet – sorry Guthrie’s lovers from Tuscaloosa) was a much better place of enlightenment. As we left, we talked about how much we enjoy sharing meaningful conversation, and that we should get together more often. He half-jokingly said we could start getting together every week at the same time for coffee and someday be like the old men who have clearly been sharing a weekly coffee fellowship for decades.
Thankfully, his comment stayed with both of us, and within a couple weeks we had decided on a time for coffee that we thought could become regular. A couple of months later, we are now part of the regular Friday morning crowd at our favorite caffeine-ery, and have now added a third member to our fellowship. The “new guy” is actually the friend who connected the other two of us in the first place.
I share all of this to simply say this. There really is nothing quite like knowing I have a true brother or two that I will be seeing each week, with no agenda, but the simple freedom to be my self and share what is on my mind, be it serious, silly, exciting, or mundane. Have a drink or two, share some laughs, wrestle with a few matters of faith and family, witness a bit of light mayhem in the establishment, whatever. Once upon a time, I remember a song along these lines that became more than a little popular…
How have your most meaningful friendships been built? How are you a different person because of your friendships?