A warm welcome back to my dear husband who’s thoughts on friendship we’ve been pondering together this year… especially as we up and moved from some very near and dear level four friendships. There is nothing quite like the treasure found in a true friend. Enjoy…contemplate…and invest in those you love!
The Candy Crush CHRONICLESRemember those good ole days, when all was well, before chocolate entered your world. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Well, reminisce with me through the annals of Candy Crush history all the way back to level four. Here the King introduces us to the unique combination of the wrapper and the stripe. I am not quite sure why, but somehow this pair just works. Think about it, each candy has completely different personalities. One is impulsive. Explosive to say the least, she will just go off on you when least expected. The other is straight up. He’s a predictable bloke, easy to get along with and very efficient. They become an indispensible duo when you are faced with the temptations and trials of the dark and tainted realm of Candy Crush. Maybe you won’t always need to draw upon them, but there are times and particular instances for which they are your only hope. When the two unite it’s like fireworks sending shock waves to and fro wiping out everything in its path. I must confess this is a particularly cool feeling especially if you are on one of levels where there are those isolated strips that you can’t get at with anything other than the stripe, and with the combo you are guaranteed to inflict the appropriate destruction. The relationship, that is the combination of the wrapper and stripe, at first glance doesn’t seem to be of much value, but you would be wrong in your assessment. For these are enduring relationships and they are not only among life’s most prized possessions but should be deeply cherished and nurtured. “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a fire?” –Lewis, Letters, 197
The world we live in today for better or worse is incredibly fragmented. The social structure is so out of whack and backwards that people actually think it is normal to be tethered to some kind of electronic device. Technology has a serious bent towards destroying our relational cravings. The fall out is becoming increasingly obvious with the rise of loneliness and depression, not to mention suicide. How could one not behave in this way? We have exchanged “real” mail for email, dining rooms for chat rooms, community for online dating, real living for virtual reality.
C. S. Lewis saw a shift in his day. Out with the small groups who sat around till 1 or 2 in the morning knocking out problems, in with the masses cramming into lecture halls to hear some renowned speaker. Lewis says what built the minds of the previous generations were the solitary walks or the walks with a single companion. Today the one who lives in a crowd or a caucus has replaced friendship. We have two equally and disastrous scenarios as I see it: the one in which Lewis spoke about and the one in which fools us into thinking friendship involves a machine as a mediator. So this leads me to a post on friendship. “Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life.” –Lewis, Letters to Arthur Greeves, 477
Being social creatures, we all encounter different types of relationships throughout our lives. Some are mere acquaintances like the friendly neighbor, the lunch lady handing you some variation of chicken, pizza, or taco; or the Starbucks barista who knows your usual. Though these relationships are needed, they are of the most basic sort; we will call them level one friendships.
Moving up the evolutionary ladder you will inevitably encounter another sort. These are your colleagues, people of whom you work with. They may be on the same intermural kick ball team or maybe your unit if you are of the military type. You are fine with the occasional interaction, but would rather not spend an inordinate amount of time with them. They would fall under the classification of level two friendships.
Next, you have those friends that you see on your own accord. You enjoy being around them, meeting for dinner, playgroups, phone chats and perhaps even a card game or two. We will call them level three for lack of a better name.
Lastly, we enter into the uncharted territory of level four. Many people (I mean many) never attain this type of friendship. They are few in number, you agree with them on most subjects, can be completely vulnerable with, and you can share your most intimate details. “Friendship must be about something, even if it were only enthusiasm for dominoes or white mice. Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travellers.” –Lewis, The Four Loves, 98
They are the friends that won’t let time, distance, or money come in the way of being there for you. You would take a bullet for them, bail them out when they encounter trouble or help them to the finish line and they would do the same for you. They are a rarity and when you find them you must do everything in your power to keep them. “If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man about a place to live, I think I shd. say, ‘sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends.’” –Lewis, Letters to Arthur Greeves, 477
We were not designed to go it alone. “Friends look in the same direction. Lovers look at each other; that is, in opposite directions.” –Lewis, Present Concerns, 20
It is an interesting statistic that about 40% of the people in the Bible get shipwrecked and never cross the finish line of life, 30% end up crawling or limping across, and 30% end up finishing strong. Level Four’s are needed for the latter.
They may look like the most unlikely of friendships, but so does the wrapper and stripe.
~By David Euans