Thursday, October 19, 2006
amicus certa in re incerta cernitur
There's plenty of things I'd love to change about the world around me and my life, but something I've always been grateful for are the friendships that I've been blessed with, especially those in this Seattle area that I've spent a large portion of my life.
Some people choose to measure the value of the friendships that they have in terms of raw numbers, as if the worth of friends can be assessed by a simple numbers of game of "I like have 1295015643 numbers on my cellphone, and like, I have soooo many friends! I rock!", but thankfully, I learned early on to that the only friendships worth having are the ones that are deep and with people of character.
Do you want to be "friends" with someone whom is selfish and disrespectful? Do you really want to invest in a relationship with someone who's only interested in exploiting others and would stab you in the back at the first convenient opportunity, IE spread gossip about you, sleep with your GF/BF, ditch you, etc?
Sometimes, it boggles my mind to see the kinds of "friends" that other people choose to have.
The past 6 months have reiterated in my brain the joy of friendships, everything from my friends freely volunteering to help with my wedding details, to helping me find a job and return to grad school, to even my best friend giving up a night every week out of his busy schedule to be my personal fitness trainer on a weekly basis so I can shed some pounds off my curvy backside (too much time at home and at work sitting down in front of a computer, oops)... even visits to my friend/ex-roomie who's fighting cancer have helped in that despite his sickness, seeing and hearing him still share about his incredible faith has been a challenge for me to grow spiritually as well.
Last night added another reminder for me to be grateful for the friends I had. It happened ironically after fellow guerilla media master homie Chong asked me to speak on a panel of UDub AACF grads for an AACF meeting, along themes of building community and friendships. After the fellowship group meeting, I was giving Chong and a couple of other guys a ride in my car out of the hill-esque Padelford packing lot when a horrible grinding sound alerted me to the fact that somehow, my driver-side front tire had been punctured and was rapidly going flat under the weight of a fully loaded car. Everyone got out of the car quickly, and helped me to get the car to some level ground where I could change the tire. My other friend, Ray, who happened to be driving his own car, also came over to help.
Now a flat tire isn't the end of the world, and I probably could have changed it myself, but consider this: it's 10:30pm, it's dark and cold, it's raining, AND there were other people who could have given everyone a ride home. They didn't have to stay, but they did, and it definitely everything very quick to fix (many hands make the work light, right?). The only little hiccup in the process of changing the tire was locating a critical part (screw attachment for the lugnut wrench to remove a security lugnut), but we managed to find the part without a lot of hassle either.
After attaching the spare, and stopping at nearby gas station to check pressure and fill up, Ray generously offered to follow me all the way back on the slooooow ride home, my old Acura doing about a crawling 40mph down the freeway, emergency lights blinking all the way. Ray's house is also on the southend of Seattle like mine, but again, he didn't have to follow me home... I probably could have managed.
I'm not dancing for joy that I got a flat tire... I did have to go and buy some new tires (I bought a pair), and I found out that even for an old Acura Legend, the tires ain't cheap. Still, praise God that I had a flat tire under the right circumstances - still close to the parking lot, plenty of good friends nearby, and pretty much zero damage to both the people in the car and the car itself.
I think I've reached the point in my life where I can reflect along of things I've learned about friendships, but the one thing I've also attributed to being fortunate in the friendships I have is God's generousity and God's character. Whether or not the bond of friendship thrives or not depends on a lot of different things, but I think it all boils down to the example set by Christ himself during his life: Do we show our respect and care for each other in tangible ways? Do we look out for the other person's best interest, and have the courage to stand up for them when they can't stand up for themselves? Is there a sense of loyalty and willingness to sacrifice for the other person, even at a great personal cost for ourselves?
While I've always striven to be a "good friend" to my friends, I don't consider my mere efforts in and of themselves to be the sole reason that keeps us together, nor am I tempted to think that just because I've spent a lot of time with someone, that we're good friends (though spending time helps). Instead, friends are kind of like the family that we choose, people whom God places in our lives for a reason.
Words that come to mind.
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