We expect and try to make good friends. In fact, we reserve the words “best friend” for very special people in our lives: the ones that click with us and our minds, commonality of some kind. It’s usually the similarities of who we are that drives us to find such ones.
The downside of finding such “best friends” can be (and is) a lifelong project. Friendships usually take time. I give it at least 3 years to really see if the person is truly a good friend. Why? Only time can cover many folds of a relationship. When one meets someone, usually, it’s just the surface we see. Only through tough trials and difficult circumstances can you tell whether that person can be your good friend, let alone a best friend.
However, there are rare times and instances that you come across person(s) who do not require such long time to be “tried” out. My wife, Soojin, uses the words “kindred spirit” taken from The Anne of Green Gables. Kindred spirit is someone who shares your vision and mindset, the essentials of who you are and who you want to be. I’ve thus far, since Christ, met 3 people. My younger brother, Paul, is not one of them since I’ve known him all my life. I’m talking about the people you meet and within a short amount of time (usually less than a year, sometimes, in a matter of a few months or weeks). Roland Allen, Dan Suh, and Paul Minifee are such friends of mine.
I’ve met Roland while I was at WPI attending St. John’s KUMC. He was an admissions office director at MIT! But as a person of who he is, he and I shared such amazing commonalities. It was only natural to find out he had so many good friends! Just ask him how many. 😉 He is significantly older by age, but I realized and learned from him that the age is not the limit in such cases.
I then moved to Austin and met Dan Suh, who is also older by 4 years. But Dan was also an amazing person who showed me the enthusiasm and passion for where he wanted to be. I had the privilege of being his roomie for about six months before he moved to California to attend seminary. But we still keep in touch and share what’s been going on.
Then there’s Paul who is same age as I am. When I met Paul, I knew in matter of few weeks that we were kindred in spirit. Personality, vision, and who we are were very similar. I have never met such encomapssingly friendly person in my life. Ever. Needless to say, I stay in touch with him though I’ve gotten married and he is about to become a professor! 😀
However, time and life is not so kind even at the best of relationships. Why? Life just goes on whether you decide to jump on it or stay behind. I think sometimes that God deliberately made it that way… so that we would see that even the best of the best friendships are nothing compared to Him. So that persons like myself would realize that depending on friendships, though definitely needed and appreciated AND encouraged by God (I always think of David and Jonathan), are still the kind that fleets away.
Only Christ is the ultimate Kindred Spirit. But I still appreciate you 3 guys who I would entrust my life with should it be required though we have drifted apart and are continuing to become different people.