“One of the secrets of life is to keep your friends within hugging distance.” Anonymous
Just two days ago, Silicon Valley shook with the news of a technology legend’s death: Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs.
The beauty, simplicity and quality of Apple products designed under his leadership are undisputed. Steve Jobs literally spent a lifetime laser-focused on what John Sculley — his one time co-CEO at Apple — attributes to Job’s methodology for building great products.
According to Scully, one secret to Steve Jobs’ success was this: keep it small.
… Steve had a rule that there could never be more than one hundred people on the Mac team.
That thinking was a typical Steve Jobs observation: “I can’t remember more than a hundred first names so I only want to be around people that I know personally. The way I like to work is where I touch everything.”
Jesus chose twelve.
When he faced his happiest moment – His transfiguration — and one of his lowest — His darkest night in the Garden of Gethsamane — Jesus chose three.
Jesus wasn’t out making a product or recruiting a team to do work. Jesus was building friendships, the kind that reflects God heart for relationship.
Small is the perfect size for soul food called friendship.
Salty French Fries
One day, when I was out running errands, I randomly bumped into a friend. It was months since we last got together.
I asked her how she was doing. She said with a smile “Good… How about you?”
I replied, “Exhausted!” and laughed.
“Really?” she commented.
As I began to tell her how I’ve felt cooped up and craving girlfriend time, I had an idea. Wanna go grab lunch right now?
As she paused, about to say no, I blurted. Let’s just go to McD’s. It’ll be quick…
As our kids climbed over each other in the play area, she confided she’s been exhausted too. We laughed ourselves silly over how ridiculous and hard life can be.
We didn’t stay long. But, as we both waved goodbye and smiled across the parking lot, we left with our souls more satisfied. Even though we ate salty french fries that tasted way too good to be good for you.
When I’m needing soul refreshment, I go solo. I dive deep down, get quiet, read a book, eat some carbs, journal, listen to music. Swallow some silence.
But, there are times I know that I’ve been by myself too long. Maybe not physically. Or even socially. But, emotionally, I have retreated. And I’m too comfortable there.
So, rather than analyzing myself and feeling guilty for not having done so earlier, I pick up the phone.
I don’t email, get busy, and end up in bed to realize I forget to send it out.
I don’t write it down on a note, only to lose it among all the other notes.
I leave a voicemail if no one picks up.
I speak. I use my voice.
Hey Henriette, Whatchu up to? I’ve been so busy. Need to get out. In the mood for dinner sometime? No worries if you’re not.
Hey Juanita, Want to grab a cup of coffee? I miss getting together with you.
Hi Michelle, Want to come over sometime after the kids are down. Tea? It would be great to catch up. Pray together maybe?
I try to find one friend who happens to be available. Sometimes, I call to get all three of us together. The planning does end up in an email. But, I like calling to kick things off first.
If you’re feeling in a funk, call up a friend.
It doesn’t have to be a big production or a long time away from home. Something simple.
You might be surprised how happy she’d be to get your call.
It’s become a treasured rarity to spend time in the skin together. An oddity even, given today’s pace of life.
“By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.”
~ Eccl 4:12
Don’t let the amount of time you’ve been away keep you away.
Don’t let the guilt of feeling blah keep you quiet.
Call up a friend and make plans to see each other. Even if it’s for just a while.
You’ll feed your soul and you would have breathed a moment of friendship.
The soul refreshment will last longer than the time you will have spent.
What encourages you to get together with friends?
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Photo courtesy of findstuff via Photobucket.