“Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.” -Aristotle
I had a best friend in the 5th grade. She and I both liked to write – we wrote stories and poems (hers were better than mine!). We rode bikes, and we were involved together in kids clubs and, later, the youth group at our church. We had spiritual and philosophical conversations that grew in quality through the years.
We remained friends through high school, then our paths diverged (including moving from our hometown), as they often do, though we kept in touch somewhat through social media.
Recently we’ve had the opportunity to reconnect. We scheduled a time to meet and talked for two hours. That wasn’t enough, so we met a few days later and talked for 2 1/2 hours. So many parallel stories and a multitude of memories and revelations; so much common ground in our families – parents, children, grandchildren; our education and career experiences; and, best of all, our commitment to a step-by-step, year-by-year walk with God.
At some point we realized the value of what we had in each other. Growing a friendship takes time. Not just activity time, or conversation time, but years of time. We both have newer friends we value very much, but neither of us has the time to develop a half-century long friendship with another person.
Do you have a friend like that? Maybe it’s time to reconnect and to recognize the value in such a relationship.
Do you need a friend like that? Maybe you don’t have decades to build it, but use the time you have. Be a friend, find a friend. Spiritual friendship is one of the greatest gifts we can give or receive.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” – Proverbs 27:17, (NLT)