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Don't Forget Your Friends. 453. May 14, 2023.


KEY SCRIPTURE Proverbs 3:5a Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not;


RELEVANCE

Yesterday I hosted a 60th birthday party for a mate of mine. There I go, hanging around old people again. Our place was larger and better suited for the size of the crowd, allowing a bit more elbow room and backyard flexibility.


It was gastronomically enjoyable with various foods and desserts, combined with plenty of conversation, catching up, and laughs. We also had our homemade rudimentary firepit burning in the warm Autumn sunshine, and stragglers would wander over for some quieter chats near the low flames. at our age, bringing friends together for reasons other than a funeral is pleasurable.


His friends came from different backgrounds and places in his life, many unknown to each other. So I developed name tags, making it easier to remember who was who and where they fit into his life. You probably think that's going a bit too far. But I have been to countless functions where I've been introduced to people, only to apologise as I re-ask their details when speaking to them later on. I'm sure you've gone through that, and it's embarrassing. It was something I could quickly fix with some plastic tags and typing.


As happens with all of us, some of my mate's guests have less to do with him of recent times that in the past, but were invited all the same. Remembering people's impact on our lives is Godly, even if we don't see them now, and showing tribute to their contribution is essential.


After I published my prison book, FINDING MYSELF INSIDE, I sent copies to people I have nothing to do with now nor have seen for years, but who impacted our lives during our time of hardship.


Why would I do that?


When I was much younger, perhaps in my early twenties, one of my sisters gave me a little magnetic address folder—the prototype for our mobile phone address book. It was a superb piece of work; about as thick as 3-4 credit cards, displaying concertina pages when pulled apart, which were easily folded back together to fit neatly in my pocket.


But the biggest impact it had on me was the scripture on the face, Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not;


I have no idea how many times I read that verse on the top cover, but it subconsciously despatched me on a journey of deliberate unforgetfulness to never devalue friendships—neither my friends or my Dad's friends. God fashioned me that way, anyhow, but that verse sealed it. I've since added my wife and son's friends to the list.


We can't invite every friend we've ever had to weddings or similar functions like 60th birthday's, as the list would be endless. But we can keep our memory sweet and appreciative whether they do the same now for us or not.


PRAYER

Dear Lord, I am so grateful for this simple part-verse that is so easy to overlook in today's busy world. It alone has kept me from forgetting or dismissing people into irrelevance because we've moved on in different directions.

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