Pastor's Monthly Message for September 2009

Reflections Upon Visiting Friends

During the last two weeks, I had the privilege to spend some amount of time with a large number of people who have been friends for some time, a visitation to past habitations where new acquaintances developed into friendships. Perhaps not enough has been said of these others with whom we share this world, our awareness, our feelings, hopes and joys.

The word "friend" has several synonyms, comrade, chum, confident, companion. A friend is one with whom we feel safe. A friend has seen beyond the shallow facade of our protective mask to the depths of our griefs and fears, to the heights of our joys and ambitions, and loves us still.

To accumulate wealth is noteworthy; to f succeed at business is something; but he who has a friend has done extremely well for himselWith this achievement he has doubled his joy while dividing his sorrow. He who has a friend has at once gained fame and honor.

It was the great Napoleon who claimed that he neither made nor needed friends. It was the same victorious monarch who spent the last years of his life in miserable solitude as a friendless outcast, alone with his arrogance and greed. He had conquered much of the civilized world but died without a single friend to mourn his passing. On the other hand, when asked to reveal the secret of his long and beautiful life, Charles Kingsley replied, "I have a friend".

In truth, even one good friend can tilt the scale of life toward happiness, regardless of what other acquisitions we may or may not have gained. When we are insecure and afraid, we cannot turn to wealth or comfort. It is not fame who will visit us in maturity to discuss politics and grandchildren. Our possessions will feel no loss at our death, but our friends will.

May we, understand the value of a friend by making friends and being a friend. Let us keep in constant repair those friendships we now enjoy. And let us always be filled with thankfulness for those who bear the noble name of Friend.

Pastor Hans Lillejord