Monday, 28 May 2012

Fair Weather Friends

Photo: Sweetfrand Blog
The expression “fair weather friends” is one that most of us are able to relate to. It refers to those friends or acquaintances who, when times are good, are always there for us. They visit us, invite us to visit them, call us to see how we are, remember our birthday and anniversary, and generally make us feel that we belong and that we are not alone. Sadly these “fair weather friends” are never there when times are tough and they soon reveal that they are really not true friends.

While many of us may like to believe that we have true friends, the sad reality for most people is that, when times get tough, for whatever reason, most of their friends turn out to be only “fair weather friends”. The visits dry up. The invites become less frequent and eventually stop. Birthdays and anniversaries come and go without even so much as a card. Suddenly we feel that we do not belong. We are all alone to face whatever it is that we must face.

Naturally, each of us likes to believe that we are ourselves not “fair weather friends”. We would like to believe that we are true friends. We are people who others can count on through thick and thin. We will be there to support and encourage our friends no matter what. Let’s hope, for the sake of our friends and family, that we are right and that, when they need us, we will really be true friends.

It may be worthwhile to consider our friendship with God. It may be a reflection of what our friends can expect from us and may give us an insight into how we may behave towards our friends in tough times. 

Are we prepared to be a true loyal friend, no matter how tough and uncomfortable it may sometimes be to be a friend to our Lord? Are we willing to maintain our relationship with him, even when it may be awkward or inconvenient or embarrassing to be his friend?

Do we go to him each and every Sunday as he has asked us to, even when it is inconvenient for us? Do we stop in at a church during the week and visit with him, even for just a minute, in front of the Blessed Sacrament? Do we speak to him in the morning before we begin our day? Do we, during our busy day, stop to give him an occasional thought and maybe even take a moment to speak quietly with him? Do we remember him when we eat? Do we, at the end of our day, share our day with him? Do we say goodnight before we drop off to sleep?

And are we loyal friends? Do we avoid doing those things we know would make him unhappy, even though it may be what we really want or desire for ourselves? Do we remain loyal friends even when sometimes he may have expectations of us, which we do not understand or even have difficulty accepting? Do we loyally trust him as the ultimate true friend, knowing that, just as we do not want to harm him, he does not want to harm us? Do we remain loyal even when others may advise us to think first of our needs? Do we regularly consider how we have treated him? Do we go to him quickly, in the confessional, and ask his forgiveness when we realise we may have offended him, or do we hide away like an acquaintance that is uncertain of the friendship?

When times get tough, do we become inwardly focussed and think only of ourselves? Do we think only of self-preservation, even when we know it would make him unhappy? Do we accuse him when we are experiencing difficulty because of our friendship? Do we become angry with him? Or do we say, no matter, you are my true friend and I want to be your true friend?

And, is our friendship with him, reflected in our friendship with others?

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