Earlier this spring, while visiting longtime friends in North Carolina, I thanked God during Sunday Mass for those folks as well as all the other friends in my life.
In fact, over the last few months I’ve gotten to spend quality individual time — not just via e-mail or Facebook, but extended get-togethers — with numerous friends of 25 years or more.
How nice it would be to take the time to reflect on every friendship I’ve ever had — the ways we became friends, the times we’ve spent together, how those special bonds have helped shape who I am today.
I am grateful for all friends past and present — and future, for that matter. People with whom to share joy and pain, laughter and tears — true friends, not ones of convenience. Whether it’s two friends or 200, what’s most important to me is the quality of the relationship. Jesus made the definitive statement on this subject in John 15:12-13: "Love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."
Amid all the demands of daily life, it’s difficult to maintain and nurture friendly ties. In fact, a couple of buddies I’ve seen recently were absent from my life for many years before the ball got rolling again.
There can be awkwardness at trying to re-establish contact, especially if there was once a falling out or misunderstanding of some sort. There’s also the potential hurt when a gesture to reconnect isn’t reciprocated. Even so, my life experience says that investing in friends produces far more rewards than disappointments.
Do you have a friend who’s been on your mind, but you haven’t quite gotten around to approaching? Perhaps today is the day.