So I had a conversation with a friend recently concerning relationships and how they play out at Gardner-Webb. Honestly, I didn't do much talking (but I feel that those are the times in which I am most effectively used) and that the person needed someone off of which to bounce some ideas. I was more than willing to be that sounding board for him.
Eventually the conversation turned at a couple of points and I found myself discussing some of my issues with the role of 'best friend' in my life. This may require a little of background, so get ready cause we're diving into David's past for a bit. Make sure you have a good supply of oxygen-there's no coming up for air where we're going.
So when I was younger I attended a Lutheran Elementary/Middle school (basically kindergarten through 8th grade). Well, ever since I could remember my time there I had been best friends with Timmy Snell. David Bell and Timmy Snell-our last names rhymed, so clearly we were destined to be best friends forever. Well for our elementary experience, we were best friends-we had sleepovers, went on adventures and hung out a whole lot. It was pretty awesome to have someone you knew you could rely on (although, I question what exactly i would need someone to rely on when I was so young...). Anyway, once we hit 5th grade, popularity and image became a lot more important. Well, I never got that memo and so I was REALLY, really lame and uncool. Now, I don't this was the only factor, but I feel it was a pretty big chunk of the falling out between Timmy and I. He basically tossed me to the curb and I was left to fend for myself. Luckily, there were some other classmates who I connected with and it wasn't the end of my world, but I never found another best friend character throughout middle school.
Well, high school comes along and to make a long and boring story short-I had no best friend in high school either. There were a couple of people that I grew close to, but no one who I felt was someone I could rely on and turn to in times of trouble. Similar story for my first year at G-Dubb.
However, my sophomore year comes along and I find friends, who I might classify as the closest thing to best friends that I have. Now they weren't perfect and they don't fulfill the complete image I have in my mind of a best friend, but they are definitely people I can rely on and with whom I have shared a WHOLE lot of memories. I think they know who they are-TI4.
We skip ahead a bit to a conversation I was having with someone who I classify as my smartest friend and discussing the issue of a best friend. I pointed to David and Jonathan's relationship (a popular reference for people to use in regards to male friendships) and complained that I wanted a friend who I could trust like David and Jonathan trusted each other (I needed a Jonathan!). Well, my brilliant friend pointed to the fact that David didn't start with the relationship with Jonathan; no, he spent years alone in the fields with the sheep, with just God and the sheep as his company. Before I even try to find someone to be my 'best friend' I need to make sure that God is my real 'best friend' and that my relationship with Him is solidified before I go looking to someone else.
You may not agree with this assessment, you may even think it sounds childish and ridiculous. And that's fine-that's your opinion. However, I have found great comfort in this, but also a great challenge-what is my motivation for the things I do? Is it to further my relationship with God? Or is seeking for meaning from inadequate sources?
"David was the youngest. Now the three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father's flock at Bethlehem." I Samuel 17:14-15