“The old man said,
’You gotta have a good imagination’
If you’re gonna live the life of old.
He said, ‘You’ve got to drive that Ford like it’s a stallion
And you’ve got to wear your heart just like a gun.’” — Jack Ingram, “Beat Up Ford”

Luke 14:25-33 (esp. 28)
Matthew 25:1-13
Matthew 16:24-28

There are two costs. Count both before you choose.

If you see deep, close-knit friendships that ride out time’s storms and selfishness and wounds and fatigue and career, you will surely want one. Something so refined possesses great beauty. But such a beautiful and exquisite thing costs greatly.

If you want it, know this: you will go through rough times. The people you love most will wound you most deeply.

You will be asked to give up what you want. Not every moment, but often.

You will have to choose one over another in many ways. You will have to choose to know others and let them know you, the real you. It’ll terrify you periodically. Visions of betrayals, retreats, abandonment and exhaustion will pass before your eyes. You risk each.

You will have to lean toward openness.

You will be asked, whether by another or by your own heart, to share all. You’ll have to decide if you will.

You’ll have to move at another’s pace. This often means slowing down. This means the excruciating pain of waiting.            

Your career, your dreams, and all your relationships will feel the effects of your choice. Your entire life will shift for this friend or this group of friends.

The cost is exorbitant, tremendous, outrageous.

Know this, though: Of those who’ve chosen this path and watched others avoid it, they agree on one thing. The cost of togetherness is minimal compared to the cost of walking alone, which is so much greater.

What would you give up for a friend?
What won’t you? Why?
Can you wait for a friend? 


© 2007