One of the most delightful movies I have watched although not recently is an animated movie called “The Lion King”. It's one of those stories surrounding a theme of timeless significance - friendship. So important is this that it was mentioned second only to the greatest Commandment.
"'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than this" as mentioned in the Gospel of Mark 12:31. Clearly, God did not make us to be loners. He created us to truly love one another and to live harmoniously with each other like brothers and sisters. Thank God for the gift of friends!
Consider the priceless value of a deep, abiding friendship. Perhaps, we should pause now for a second to reflect who we consider as our true friends and why. During ‘my growing pains’ years, I always regarded like-minded people I hung out with as my friends; people who play hooky with you, people you mambo jambo with or who conspire with to spin stories to each others' parents. In other words, I was like Simba in "The Lion King", living a carefree life with my friends Timon and Pumbaa in the jungle, with my expressed wish, 'hakuna matata' (no worries).
Then Simba grew up. As an adult, my vision and expectations of friendship too evolved. As I entered the world of work, hung out with fast friends, and crossed time-zones in a crazy way, I began to have a more sparing definition of who my friend is.
While it used to be hour-long telephone calls, these days valuable conversations with friends have turned increasingly virtual - into never-ending group chats or texts using one of the many smart apps out there. While neither the "old" phone nor the smart phone can replace face-to-face conversations, we all would agree that candid conversations are the roots of a strong friendship. Just as we talk to God, our closest friend, we also treasure conversations with our loved ones, our pets and our friends.
In moments of joy and distress, we always rely on friends with whom we share our inner-most thoughts, fears and feelings. We value our friends for their presence. From quiet conversations to silent companionship, friends are more than people with whom we simply love to hang out with. Friends are people who grow with you through thick and thin, like Timon and Pumbaa were to Simba as he went to rescue Prideland.
Finally, friends are people with whom we laugh together. Laughter is the best medicine so it also acts as a tonic to keep the spirit of friendship alive. I love being around people who are happy and who possess an infectious sense of humour. They energize me. They inspire me. They make me feel alive and that I am living.
So today, if you are sharing a meal with a friend, comforting someone during a time of distress or simply hanging out doing nothing in the company of friends or fur, remember to thank God for giving us Jesus - the friend of sinners - to whom we can always turn to and say 'hakuna matata'.
Photo Credits to my lovely friends, Stephanie and Kathrin