(I am sitting here right now, pretty annoyed. Our internet is not working....and that means that I can't take my online omnibus class. I was in class enjoying a Recitation session on Tacitus' Annals of Imperial Rome, when suddenly the connection gave out and I was booted...
So yeah. That's the only thing I don't like about taking classes online....they're *ahem* online.
Anyways, I decided that while I'm waiting, I might as well write a blog post. Don't know when I'll be able to post it though.
That depends on when the internet starts working again....
But I'd better get on with it:)
That is so true. Anyone who has had a real friend, a loyal companion, a faithful confidant, knows exactly what Lewis is talking about.
Unfortunately, our culture has made a mockery of what a friend is. With facebook, twitter, IM, and all the gazzilions of other social networking sites, we can be "friends" at the click of a mouse. We can chat comfortably with perfect strangers because we have a computer screen hiding our true selves and true thoughts.
So, what is a real friend? Is it one of the thousands of names on your facebook page? Or is it someone you like to hang out with?
Or is it something more?
Well, I guess the best place to start would be with the Bible's definition of a friend.
According to John 15, a friend is someone who will "lay down his life" for you.
Proverbs 17:17 says that a "friend loves at all times."
Proverbs 18:24 says that a "friend sticks closer than a brother."
And finally, Proverbs 27:17 says that a friend should sharpen us as "iron sharpens iron".
Whew....You may be wondering by now if it's possible to find, or be, a true friend.
Well, lets look at some examples of friendships:
The first Biblical example that pops into my mind is David and Jonathan. I mean, those two were so close. Closer than family, because their families weren't loyal to them. David stuck closer to Jonathan than to any of his blood-brothers. Jonathan was willing to betray his own father's confidence when David's life was in danger because of it.
One more Biblical example is the friendship of Ruth and Naomi. Despite the difference in their ages, Ruth was closer to Naomi than to anyone else she knew. She says to Naomi in the well-known words, "Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried." (Ruth 1:16-17) Ruth loved Naomi at all times. Even when Naomi was poor and apparently had nothing left to offer Ruth. Ruth gave herself entirely to her friend. She didn't care about what she got out of the friendship, but only about what she was giving.
Aside from Biblical examples, probably my favorite story of friendship (at least that I can think of right now) would have to be that of Sam and Frodo in Lord of the Rings. Loyalty is so important in a friend. Sam was always, always loyal to Frodo. He loved him at all times, even when Frodo was anything but lovable; even when Frodo told Sam that he didn't need him at all. Sam knew better than that and so he kept on fighting Frodo's battles with him. He was willing to lay down his life for Frodo, and nearly did so several times. And in the famous lines, "I can't carry [the ring] for you, but I can carry you," he shows his absolute dedication against all odds.
Well, I know this post is getting lengthy.
But I'm almost done.
Friends are one of the greatest blessings God has given us here on earth. "Is there any pleasure on earth," C.S. Lewis said, "as great as a circle of Christian friends by a fire?"
And because friends are so wonderful, because they are something that "gives value to survival", we have to be careful. It's really easy to fall into the trap of looking to other humans for our fulfillment. Friends, true or otherwise, can quite quickly become idols in our lives and stumbling blocks on our walks with Christ.
We cannot let these friendships get in the way of our most important friendship with our Savior. Instead, our friends should be people who spur us on in our walk of faith, and who walk beside us.
Instead of blocking the Light, friends should reflect it.