Apr 9, 2010

Will You Be My 589th Friend?

Facebook has redefined the term Friend and even made it a verb in many cases. After meeting someone you might say, "Be sure to friend me when you get home!"
This month I spent a week with my best friend. I still like the term "old friend" & I like to call her my "old friend." Not necessarily that we're old, but our friendship is, it has earned a degree of respect and awe. As someone once said, "It takes a long time to grow an old friend."
Today my friend left to return to her family and her work. As we parted, I popped my earbuds in and listened to a recent podcast of Midday Connection with Gordon and Gail MacDonald, I love those people, I'm going to "friend" them in Heaven :).
The discussion was on friendship. Ten qualities to look for in your "bevy" of friends. I like that. "A bevy of friends." Don't you just feel better knowing you have a bevy of friends and not merely a group of riff-raff friends? Gordon said research indicates a person can only maintain deeply intimate friendships with about 17-18 people tops. That includes family members. That's a small circle, don't you think? (I'm kind of high-maintenance. I bet if I'm in the bevy, the number has to come down to 14 or less.) (Shut up, Rene', Shut to the Up)
Anyway.... 10 Qualities in your Bevy of Friends:
Examine your bevy of friends and make sure you have ones who:

  1. Will Coach you. - usually older, a mentor or parent type who's there to guide you.
  2. Will Recognize and Celebrate your growth in Godliness. - who can see where Jesus is at work in your life and can point it out to you.
  3. Will Stretch your Mind. - one who makes you think, pushes you.
  4. Will Listen to Your Dreams. - encourages you, supports you, energizes you.
  5. Will protect you and Show Mercy. - no matter how badly you fail, this person gives you 2nd, 3rd or 50th chance.
  6. Will offer reliable judgment when you face the Big Questions in life.
  7. Will serve with you in your Calling. - keeps you company when you volunteer, helps you.
  8. Will Rebuke You. - lovingly, honestly, respectfully warns you when something you do is harmful to others. (the kind you get really mad at, but appreciate later)
  9. Will Seek God with You. - you are totally free to pray with and share scripture with.
  10. Will have Fun with You. - Christians in particular tend to be ultra serious, it is important to just have fun sometimes. Fun is energizing, uplifting.
Just thinking of my friends and categorizing them brought me warm, fuzzy thoughts and minimized the pain of watching Rene' leave. Now I'm going to look back through the list and see which category I fit in for my friends and strive to be dependable for them.
I think there are times in our lives when we have a good bevy and there are times when our bevy is misaligned. It's a good practice to review this list periodically and "batten down" your bevy. Life is hectic. We must live with intent -- our bevy of friends should be intentional, not just happenstance. This ties in well with living the resilient life, living with purpose. I also think there are times in our lives when we can be as intentional as we like and the friends just aren't there. There are dry times in life and if you're in one of those times, it's my prayer that you find comfort in the Psalms and in prayer. If that's your case, you might spend some time in prayer and meditation, perhaps you're not quite in God's will -- maybe something needs to change. Pray for wisdom, direction, guidance.
Thank you, Midday Connection, thank you, MacDonalds. And you, dear reader, shuffle off now and Batten down your Bevy.

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