Kind of mysterious, considering the majority of times I’ve smelled wet asphalt/concrete, I have not been in China. Anyway, that’s what I thought as I walked home from the T tonight from a talk at the law school Christian fellowship. Said talk was fantastic–it ended up mostly being about friendship in our modern nomadic era.
And what more to make me feel like a nomad than the streets of my adopted city smelling like the particulate memories of my birth city?
Anyway, I’ve written about nomad-ness before and what relationships look like in our very transient culture, but I really wanted to share what the speaker, Park Street Church’s senior minister, had to say on the subject.
So the point that sticks with me most: he encouraged us to pursue friendship hard especially because our culture doesn’t really value friendship at all. He noted how Best Seller books are a good metric of what our culture considers valuable. There are tons of books/blogs/you-name-its about romantic relationships, making money, career success, losing weight, etc. because our culture values these things. Meanwhile, best selling books that have the word “friend” in the title? Examples he gave included Being A Friend to Trees; How to be your Own Best Friend; If You Play Golf, You’re My Best Friend; and Making Money Your Best Friend.
I’ll concede that I’m young and haven’t dated all that much or made very much money or lost very much weight or what have you, but some of the most rewarding, enriching, and life-giving experiences in my life have been because of friendships. It’s truly one of the biggest blessings God has given me so far.
I’m also reminded of this article, which I felt the need to reread this morning– that right now, God has placed me at a juncture in which I’m relatively free of responsibilities and commitments–i.e., I have the freedom to love people with a spontaneity and extravagance that will only dwindle from here on out.
And so, here’s a Jonathan Edwards style Resolution– Resolved, to pursue friendship, value friendship, make sacrifices for friendship, to take advantage of these precious free, single, student years, to push my limits in terms of how good of a friend I can be.
And, if you’re my friend you better hold me to that!