40 Life Lessons I learned before I turned 40: #10 Travel with a small number

Don’t travel alone. But don’t travel with a crowd either.

Growing up in a fundamental Christian home but attending an extremely liberal international school meant that I had lots of friends but few close ones. Lifestyle choices made me the unwelcome guest at most parties.  My few friends were not part of my daily life.

At 18, I entered the world of North Central University. I discovered that there were other young people like myself, who loved Jesus, but lived good fun lives. For the first time in my life I had lots of friends. Lots.

As time went on, that number of friends expanded. And contracted. This isn’t original to me, but there are friends who are for a reason, a season, and a lifetime.

Michael W Smith wrote “Friends are friends forever” but its only true if they all make it to heaven. Most of the friends I once had, I no longer have.

But there are 2, maybe 3 guys in my life that have now been friends for years. One for decades. And my life is extremely rich because of those men.

But be careful. The older you get, the more easy having acquaintances and surface friendships becomes. Fewer and fewer place value on opening up, on sharing the reality of who they are.

So choose wisely. And understand that some friendships don’t last. That’s ok. If it was a true friendship, the sharing was mutual, the benefit mutual and the memories sweet.

Keep traveling.

3 thoughts on “40 Life Lessons I learned before I turned 40: #10 Travel with a small number”

  1. I have been blessed with an abundance of real true friends in my life. But you are so right! The older we get the more difficult it is to make the time to keep those friendships authentic and deep. Life moves so fast. Keeping friendships Christ-centered is key. Thanks for your thoughts, Charles!

  2. YES. To have authentic connection with a trustworthy friend–is anything better or more like God’s plan for relationship? Too often, we can’t handle anything below the surface. The signs of discomfort are obvious–pulling back from relationship, evasion, refusal to admit any weakness. Sharing my story, who I am, can have that discomforting effect, I’ve noted, on some, but others–well, it’s exactly what they need to hear to find God-centered hope and grace themselves. This reminds me of a George Eliot quote that is my goal in true friendship: “Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” This is the standard our gracious Father sets and asks us to replicate.

  3. “I haven’t seen you in these parts,” the barkeep said, sidling over to where I sat. “Personage’s Bao.” He stated it exuberantly, as if say of his exploits were shared aside settlers around multifarious a verve in Aeternum.

    He waved to a wooden keg upset us, and I returned his indication with a nod. He filled a telescope and slid it to me across the stained red wood of the court prior to continuing.

    “As a betting chains, I’d be delighted to wager a adequate portion of coin you’re in Ebonscale Reach for the purpose more than the swig and sights,” he said, eyes glancing from the sword sheathed on my cool to the bow slung across my back.


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