“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
As I was exiting the parking garage of my office building recently I noticed an old friend walking down the sidewalk on the other side of the street. We had worked together for many years but had lost touch. So I pulled up to the curb where he was walking by and rolled down my window. It was a brief reunion, but in the course of less than five minutes we were able to reminisce about our history together as well as catch up about our lives and our families.
That brief chance encounter reminded me how blessed I am to have accumulated so many relationships and friends over the years. My old friend and I had fought many a battle together during our corporate days most of the time as comrades, but even occasionally as opponents. But that is how friendships form, by engaging together in the ups and downs, the battles and the celebrations of life.
Life is designed for companionship, not isolation, for intimacy, not loneliness. Thus we are here on earth for the purpose of serving God and others, not just ourselves. True friends are bonded together in life’s realities, in helping one another and working together to help others, which is why my old friend and I felt such joy when we encountered each other. An old poem describes it well, the treasure of friendships:
Cherish friendship in your breast –
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
Life is designed for companionship. So, we must cherish our friendships; for “Two are better than one . . . If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”