My Friends – They Flavor My Life

(Thanking God for the gifts of friendship He put in my life)

I sometimes, and more often than before, think of the value of friends as something that we don’t protect and cherish as much as we ought taking those relationships as just the common flow of life… but, with age, I have come to realize that rather than just a flow of life friendship is very much the flavor of life.

I am becoming poorer, it seems, at an ever increasing rate. I sense, all about me, the encroachment of thieves, with grasping hands, lugging away my wealth in bulging sacks slung across their shoulders. Each thief, it appears, has as his focus some object which is part of my treasure. I seem helpless to prevent their thievery almost as if they were entitled to my things and have now come to claim them. Yes, I grow poorer with the passing of time.

When God made Adam He made a solitary man and quickly said of Adam’s state that it was not good for man to be alone. Adam was created a poor man–a solitary man. Only with the addition of others did Adam’s penury existence change–for it was not good for man to be alone. The wealth of Adam’s life was not in his solitude but rather in his mingling among others. It was Eve and then their offspring that removed the poverty of Adam and ushered him into an existence of real value. The simple fact is, that the more Adam was immersed in others the more his life mattered and obtained value. A single, solitary man is a poor man.

I realized, of late, that with every passing of a friend, comrade, fellow laborer, loved ones and even enemies and passerbys of life that my life loses a certain amount of value–because it is only among others that our existence has any worth. A seed that abides alone produces no benefit to the future and a man who lives only unto himself is a poor man indeed.

Could it be that in the latter climes of life when the nest is empty and the fellowship dwindles due to the removal of trusted companions through eternity’s door that we begin to truly realize that — it is not good for man to be alone? God in His infinite Wisdom knew that it is the “solidarity” and and not the “solitude” of life that causes the “individual” to be of worth? The community of faith–the church–realizes its value in the many–not the few.

From every funeral I now walk away a poorer man–a little more of my worth has been buried with my friend and brother, loved one and fellow traveler. It is too sad that we fail to discern this principle earlier in life when we could have done so much more among others and realized a far more valuable life… because of them.

I am poorer today that I was yesterday because my world is shrinking…. the more of me and the less of others… makes me a poorer man.

— jlg —

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