There are people that you meet in life sometimes become professional associates, some become friends, some become family.
As a child, I didn’t find it easy to make friends. Not because I did not try, but because I didn’t easily fit into the childhood molds and thus it took the other person to have to go beyond the norm to be a friend to me. I was more like an adult intellectually than a child, so oftentimes other kids couldn’t relate with me and would get bored. As a result, I often found myself alone and very use to those I allowed into my life falling short of my expectations and leaving me feeling friendless.
Despite that experience, I learned early in my life that we get to choose our friends and sometimes even an occasional person that we call family. The greatest challenge of choosing friends is sometimes those we choose fall short of the expectations we have built up for whatever level of friendship we place upon them.
Are they a best friend? Are they a close friend, an old friend? Are they simply in our circle of friends? Are they a friend of a friend?
Depending upon where in our friend hierarchy a person falls, what do we expect of them? A best friend is someone that you can rely upon. They are there in you low times, high times, poor times or rich times, they are simply a call away. They know your secrets; they are aware of your shortcomings and help to hold you accountable.
A close friend, comes to your aid when you call. They help you move; help you fix things when you need a hand. They may not be in your life every day, but once again they are a call away.
Sometimes old friends carry many of these same expectations. Distance and time may separate you from them but whatever level they once held remains despite the time and space that is between you. If a motivating experience brings you back together, they simply fall back into the rhythm that was previously left behind.
Last year, I took a fall, breaking my hip. This experience allowed me to see who was there giving me uplifting insights into my circle of friends. I was so blessed by all of those who reached out to me during that time and since.
What is the point of today’s meanderings? A lesson shared with me by my friend Arkansas fiddling treasure Violet Hensley, who is now 104: “If you want a friend, be a friend.”
What kind of friend are you? Are you giving all it takes to support those in your circle? Jesus shared with us to “Love our neighbor.” Neighbors are more than just the people who live next to you. It is amazing how if you are there for your neighbors, they return the favor in many cases, building your circle of friends.
What a wonderful world it would be if we all enjoyed large circles of friends!