Saturday, February 26, 2011

26 FEB 11: A Friend Without End

(BLOGGER'S NOTE: You may find the following items humorous, serious, or a little of both - but we offer these thoughts from time to time, as we keep a seventh-day Sabbath.)

Sometimes blog-writing can get a bit personal, and even confessional. That may have led to this comment during our last Big Blog Question:

I never see you mention your personal friends. Do you have any?

Talk about a loaded question! It’s a bit like the Oscar nominees trying to make a list of everyone to thank this weekend.

There are many ways I could answer this. For instance, I could say I don’t mention my friends because I don’t want them dragged into any potential blog boycotts….

Other potential answers are also potential minefields, because I’ve discovered the people you think are your friends may not always be. I learned this in the workplace very quickly. Getting told off for calling a female co-worker “dear” will do that.

Someone can be your next-door neighbor, but still not be your friend. I was reminded of that several years ago, when the Metro Narcotics Task Force showed up one apartment away from my front door [1 Jul 08].

In this era of “Facebook friends,” the definition of a friend has morphed a bit. I know of one Columbus restaurant that looks for local residents to befriend online – but so far, dropping my name there hasn’t won me a free meal.

Yet I think Facebook can help reveal who your real friends are. All you have to do is look up people, and ask to be friends with them. If they don’t respond after several months, you probably can take their names out of your online address book as well.

I’d like to think the people in my church congregation are my friends. But sad to say, I’ve learned that sometimes can be misleading as well. Take the man who told me he needed a place to stay for “about a month.” He wound up staying 21 – and still hasn’t repaid several hundred dollars of bills.

I heard a minister say awhile back when you’re in the last stages of life, you can count your closest friends on one hand. Since I’m not at that stage yet, I don’t think it’s fair to make a “bucket list” of those friends and potential pallbearers right now. But come to think of it, I guess that IS partly why people write wills.

So “friends” can let you down, and might not really be your friends at all. That’s why I rely on the greatest friend anyone can have. And his name is…. wow, suddenly I sound like I’m selling toothpaste or a political candidate….

But anyway: that friend is named Jesus. And I’m talking about the Son of God here – not that other “Jesus” who has a Columbus landscaping service.

Jesus is the friend who matters most because He’s the only one who can get me beyond this physical life into eternal life. The book of Revelation talks about Him coming again, with a resurrection of believers. The Bible promises those believers new bodies -- and I suspect the obesity problem will become a moot point then.

Jesus puts one big condition on being friends with Him. John 15 says you have to do whatever Jesus commands you – and His top commandment is to love one another. The way you express love probably determines what sort of friend you are. But isn’t my romantic life a completely different topic?

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