Notes from the Church Lady
Published: Thursday, July 3rd, 2003
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: For better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.” Proverbs 27:9-10 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17 Recently, I purchased an old “Good Housekeeping” magazine and began pouring over the pages containing products from my youth. Later, I shared the magazine with some friends who happened to stop by for a visit. It was wonderful sharing memories of years gone by and focusing on the good times we had as children. Growing up in the baby boomer age gives us much in common that helped spark our friendship. We are so blessed to have many dear friends in Tucumcari, but that friendship didn’t occur overnight. Friendship is like a garden that evolves over time and takes great care to cultivate. How much time we devote to our friendships, just as how much time one spends in a garden determines its overall beauty and function. One Sunday, our lesson in Sunday School was on fellowship in the church. We talked about how busy our lives are and how difficult it is to have organized fellowships with our class. One of the men asked why we couldn’t just “hang out” together like he did with his friends in college. He commented that often his friends would plan an outing on the spur of the moment that ranged from going to get something to eat together to seeing a movie. It didn’t take planned activities for the group of friends to enjoy each other’s company, just an effort to get together. While there was much conversation on the subject, there were few concrete answers as to a solution to the problem. Maybe part of the problem is we are trying to make it too difficult by looking at the whole problem instead of the different elements beginning with a desire to cultivate friendship. Once the desire is there, action must be taken. The phone rang and on the other end was a friend I haven’t talked to for almost a month. She asked if I was angry with her because she hadn’t heard from me in a while. I assured her that she was on my mind often, but I was guilty of not taking the time to do anything about it. I am so glad she called because ugly weeds of dissention might have grown in our garden of friendship. Since we have such different schedules, it is difficult to get together very often, but not impossible. We decided to have lunch together and then decided on a specific time and place or we would never get together. In our friendship, we learned that it is important to make appointments with each other often so we can catch up on everything that is going on in our lives. Now, back to that garden. I want a beautiful garden, but wishing for it doesn’t make it happen. I can look at all the books and television shows on the subject, but if I am not willing to actually work in my garden, nothing will get done. After formulating a course of action, I get busy with a small segment of my garden. Today, it is pulling grass and weeds out of the flowerbed. Left unattended for a period of time, weeds and grass will take over a garden and choke out the flowers. While I don’t have the time to tackle all the flowerbeds at once, I concentrate on a small area that is easier to manage and gives me a sense of accomplishment. Some days I only spend five minutes in my garden while other days, I will devote most of a day to it. The same is true with friendships. Some days we only have time for a quick phone call, other days we have an entire day or evening to spend with our friends. The important thing is to overcome obstacles to our friendships. In the book of 1 Samuel, two men, David and Jonathan had a special friendship that overcame numerous obstacles including the hatred of David by Saul, Jonathan’s father. Still, these two men experienced a friendship that endured the test of time. Friendship is precious and just like a garden, has to be cultivated so that it will always be a beautiful thing that will endure and bring joy to all.
Click Here To See More Stories Like This