By Belinda (Who has a very early start tomorrow morning and therefore is recycling this post from April 2008!)
"Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow-ripening fruit." Aristotle
I have been enjoying a book on CD entitled The Art of Friendship, 70 Simple Rules for Making Meaningful Connections, by Roger Horchow and Sally Horchow.
In Malcolm Gladwell's, The Tipping Point, which I listened to last month, he mentioned Roger Horchow, the founder of The Horchow Collection, the first luxury mail-order-only retailer, and a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer, as an excellent example of a group of people he called "connectors." Roger is a master at maintaining a high number of relationships.
In The Art of Friendship, Roger says, "Life is too short to spend it paddling around in shallow waters." I agree!
To me, friendship is an endless voyage of discovery, an exploration of uncharted lands. There is no end to the pleasure to be found in the company of friends and any happiness is magnified many times over when shared with them.
The Art of Friendship intrigued me so much that I'm listening to it for the second time. I want to be a better friend. After all, I believe that the gift of friendship is one of the greatest joys God gives us in life.
Being close friends is not an endless bed of roses though. I sometimes wonder how my dearest friends have endured the pain that I have thoughtlessly inflicted upon them. But to love someone deeply is to let down all guard. I'm glad for the forgiveness and love of my friends at the times when they've been exposed to my worst flaws.
The friendship that inspires me most is one that existed approximately 3,000 years ago; the friendship between David, and Jonathan, the son of King Saul, written about in 1 Samuel.
Verse 1 of chapter 18 says, ...Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. And then in verses 3-4, And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
Friendship of that depth may make some people feel uncomfortable. It may not be often that such pure and selfless friendships happen, but where they do, I believe we should say, with apologies to the writer of the song, Some Enchanted Evening, "Once you have found it never let it go!"
I thank God for the friends he has blessed my life with. I cannot imagine life without them!