To have a friend you have to be a friend

Life gives us different seasons, sometimes different people. Sometimes friends walk through your life, sometimes out. Sometimes you remain friends but the friendship needs to be “re-activated.” At times friends turn into amicable aquintances and often people you’re acquianted with can turn into friends.

On Facebook, we may have 200, 400 or even 1000 friends but are they all “friends?”

Are they all people whom you would have over at your house and serve English breakfast tea to? Do you trust all of them, even trust enough to give your ATM card and pin to, if they were short $20, only to catch up later?

I dare to say that not everybody on my Facebook page is a friend, in the proper dictionary sense of what a ‘friend’ is.

That’s not to say that I have ill feelings towards anyone but in the realism of life: of how much time, energy, resources and emotions you have: I can’t be friends with everyone. I dare say, you can’t either.

It’s not that I don’t want to be: believe me, I do. I wish I was rich in mammoth time and energy to sit and chat and order coffees and share cake with; able to check in with friends and hang out with new friends.

Of course, I can do this and I do but there’s always more people you want to love, to be there for, than you can be. So in this respect, I can’t do this then: I am realising this.

Maybe you already know this, perhaps you’re like me and still working it out or even – is it applicable to you?

You see, my grandma always told me: “to have a friend, you have to be a friend” and it’s true.

In this sense then, sometimes I don’t feel worthy of being called the “friend” of someone who is dear to me because how can you be a friend without being a friend to someone?

Friendships are precious. Friends are chosen family and you never give up on your family, no matter how anxious big family gatherings can be or family-in-confined-spaces can be!

To have a friend – someone whom you love and trust – is a precious and indispensible gift but no matter how forgiving and gracious they can be, don’t make the mistake of taking it for granted. It’s not Year 12 Specialist Maths: all relationships require effort, even if we don’t realise it.

Yet, there are some friendships which just survive the batterings of time.

That good friend who calls you after a couple of years, you chat for 2 hours on the phone and you hang up, amazed that it felt like no time had passed.

That childhood friend who, when you bump into them at the supermarket, grins at you and you feel like nothing has changed since grade 5.

Don’t take my word for it: I’m just musing on this topic but I’d like to share with you something that’s on my heart. Don’t take your friends for granted. Love them, listen to them, make time for them.

Work is important, life is important, you are important but being a friend/having a friend is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

Accept some relationships naturally ebb and flow in your life but make time for your friends! Save friendships worth holding before they gradually seep away into regretful obscurity but love those who you meet along your path. Remember your family are your friends as well, even if that makes you cringe!

Love everyone but don’t let your friendships evaporate with the wind. You might need to put a paperweight over the ones you need to protect; don’t let them flap away in a gust of wind.

Love, serve, be there for your friends and quite possibly there might be truth in this idiom I heard once a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.

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