Friendships

There’s an old story that goes like this:
A man is sitting on his porch when a car comes down the road and a young couple pulls up the driveway, rolls down the window and says, “We’re thinking of buying the Smith house down the road and we were wondering, are the neighbors nice around here?”
The man asks, “What are the neighbors like where you live now?”
“Oh, they aren’t friendly at all! Don’t wave or talk to you. Rude people.”
“Well, the people here are kinda’ like that, too – you won’t like them,” he replies.
The next week, he’s sitting out on his porch and another couple pulls up and asks the same question,
“We’re looking at the Smith house down there, but we were wondering what kind of neighbors we’d have?”
He smiles and asks, “What are the neighbors like where you live now?”
“Oh, they’re wonderful! We really hate to leave them!”
“Well, you’ll find the people here are just as friendly as can be!” He answered with a smile.
With few exceptions, life is what you make it. Neighbors are as friendly to you as you are to them. A smile and kind gesture will reap wonderful rewards as time goes buy.
A recent conversation (via e-mail) made me laugh out loud at an old friend’s words – I miss inter-acting with people who aren’t in the same circles of work, church and family, but this thing called e-mail can help us weave in and out of one another’s lives from time to time. . .and that’s a blessing.
I often think about the settling of the old West in America and how people would leave their families behind, knowing they would probably never see them again, and often, they would never know what happened to them!
Can you see them looking at today’s technology where we speak into a little rectangular thing in our hand and have conversations with friends across the US and beyond? We put dirty dishes in a box, push a button and they come out clean?? Or see us typing with our thumbs and sending pictures of our cat? Mind blown!
Our ability to stay in contact with one another is an amazing thing, but we often have less contact because we know that it’s at our fingertips, available any time – and that time is always tomorrow.  
It’s hard to fathom how we got this way, but only because the act of fathoming something takes time that we don’t have to spare. We have to none to spare because we’re busy wasting it on cat videos and instagram pictures of our meals. (Disclaimer: I confess to the former, do not partake in the latter.)
Remembering to push the buttons on our conveniences (e.g. dishwasher, washer, dryer, crockpot, a/c, DVR) is now a difficulty??
“Honey, did you start the dishwasher?”
“Did you remember to push ‘record’ on the Twins game?”
So much stuff – so little time.
Remember the bumper sticker that said “JESUS IS COMING – look busy!” That will not be a problem these days, it’s just what we are busy with that is the problem.

Lord, slow me down from my busy-ness and help me be about Your business.
Help me reconnect with friends of old and make it meaningful. I know I can’t relive the old days, but the sweet fellowship of old friends helps define who we are and where we’ve been and acts like a straight edge to see if we’ve grown in grace and forgiveness. Let this follower of Jesus Christ show love to all and healing to those who need it – and may I be refreshed every morning by Your mercy towards me. Amen and amen.