Friendship’s a tricky thing…

Job 36:1 | Here Elihu took a deep breath, but kept going…

I try to read through the bible each year. Right now I’m reading about a man, Job, and one of his friends named Elihu who “took a deep breath but kept going,..” He probably should have taken a deep breath and remained silent:-) He learned that day that friendship is a tricky thing.

Beth and I were going to be married. Six more months and we would be husband and wife. With our marriage on the calendar, I remember sitting together one evening on a sidewalk somewhere talking. I wondered out loud about how awesome it was going to be to be married to my best friend.

I waited.

No response.

I took a deep breath and kept on going…

Turns out Beth and I weren’t best friends. I learned that evening that friendship is developed over time. I was going to marry a woman who one day MIGHT become my best friend (she was not making any promises:-) but on that night, on that sidewalk, she wasn’t assuming it was going to happen.

Friendship is a tricky thing isn’t it?

Sending someone a note asking, “ Will you be my friend [ ] YES, or [ ] NO?” Usually doesn’t result in gaining a best friend. Neither can we simply say “I do” and expect to instantly become best friends.

FRIENDSHIP REQUIRES TIME. We can’t be friends with someone with whom we never spend time.

FRIENDSHIP REQUIRES RISK. We can’t be friends with someone without revealing who we truly are. A huge risk.

FRIENDSHIP NEEDS BOTH SHARED ADVENTURES AS WELL AS SHARED BOREDOM. We can’t be friends with someone without embracing the gaps; those times in life where “nothing is playing.” Friendships are not one long, never ending, always building, adrenaline rush. Instead they are made up of mini-adventures, interspersed with long gaps of ordinary life, all of which are experienced inside the grand story being written by God.

Friendship is a tricky thing isn’t it?

It’s extremely rare yet found everywhere.

It’s elusive and yet available to everyone.

It’s worth more than any material possession and yet taken for granted when possessed.

Everyone longs for it but few embrace it.

It can be screwed up in a moment, and in rare cases be regained just as quick. In most cases not so quick.

Friendship is a messy proposition. It will include misunderstandings, disappointments, and frustrations. Yet, the promise of gaining a friend; being accepted just as we are without pretense or shame makes whatever the cost worth it.

Beth and I went through with the wedding. I decided that Beth did NOT need to be my best friend in order for us to get married. She assured me that it COULD happen eventually, given enough time together, enough risks taken with one another, enough ordinary life shared together.

I’m not sure when exactly it happened but if you ask her, she on most days would say we’re best friends.

Something for which I’m extremely grateful!

Over and out.

John 15:15 | No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 

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