Those are the words sung over and over on the theme tune to the popular American hit comedy series “Friends”.
I love this programme and we’ve watched the episodes so many times, still I see things I’ve missed before. This group of friends display all the qualities of friendship we experience in our own lives, they laugh together, play together, cry together, fall out, break up, make up but ultimately they stay together. They make allowances for each others quirks and personalities, irritated and tolerant by turn.
I don’t know what kind of friends you have but I have noticed how frequently Facebook friends have been posting different quotes about friends on their pages. I wrote the Prayer For the Day about friendship this morning. When we’re growing up friendships come and friendships go, when you’re a teenage girl that’s several times within the space of a day! But some of us still have friends we went to school with decades on. Some of us marry friends we went to school with.
I can’t comment on decades of marriage, as someone who has been divorced for many years, but I can certainly comment on the friends I have and what they’ve meant to me. I have friends I went to school with and those friendships have lasted more than fifty years. We’ve seen each other through our fair share of heartaches and happiness, birth and death, been there through thick and thin. We always seem to manage to make each other laugh but we can listen attentively when the need arises.
I have other friends whom I’ve known more recently but these have also helped in ways that I won’t forget. They’ve cleaned my floors after back surgery, cooked me meals when I needed cheering up, rescued me from all sorts of dramas, they’ve listened to endless hours of me ranting on, or commiserated during periods of heartache over lost love.
One of my greatest friends is my sister, she is fearless when it comes to telling me what I need to hear when I need to hear it, she encourages me when the going gets tough and knows when I’m running away from the truth about any situation. She has been like a rock for me, I can only hope I might have been something like that for her.
My girls have become my friends too as they’ve grown up, they don’t let me take myself too seriously, but are always there when I need them and I love spending time with them.
Some people have trouble making friends and may be very isolated with no one to call on or turn to. There is a saying if you want a friend be a friend, but that’s easier said than done if you’re shy. I have friends I see often and some I don’t, but can still pick up the phone and talk to them as if it was just yesterday we last spoke.
Friendship is vital to us and they say you can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends. Maybe there’s a friend you need to call, someone you need to meet up with, someone you need to forgive and make up with.
I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning.
2 John 1:4-6
Some friends are only in our lives for a season and there’s a natural parting of the ways. Whatever, we need to cherish the friends we have for we only go this way once. I am truly blessed with my friends and I hope I am the kind of friend they need in their lives. So here’s to friends old and new, near and far, I’ll be there for you ….