My aunt, having just faced another bereavement, was asked how she coped in difficult times, not least the death of her husband followed by the death of her brother. Her response was to say that there were 3 Fs which were important to her: Family, Friends and Faith.
I would echo her words, as I am sure, in part, we all would. We value our friends and family at all times, not just when times are tough. I would guess that for those who may not have a particular faith nevertheless when things are tough then faith may well play some part, even if it is ‘only’ in the offering of a prayer for help: ‘Please God…
My own view is that faith and in particular the Christian view of the world can help us make sense of things and give us a sense of purpose, over and above that of our own personal needs and gratification. Christians may describe it as seeing God’s Kingdom come, as prayed in ‘The Lord’s prayer’
Whether believers or not you will probably agree with me that family and friends are essential for a rewarding and happy life. I believe it to be very sad when our jobs or our own personal gratification come before our family and friends!
Jesus called his disciples his friends because he had formed a bond with them over the years, it is our experience as well, that as we spend time with neighbours and others a bond is formed and such friendships can last a lifetime. On a personal level; one of our sadness’s as we move away from Fringford and Shelswell is that we will be moving away from friends, this has been true on previous occasions when we have moved parishes, it is always sad to move away from friends, but thankfully if those friendships are genuine they will stand the test of time and distance, it is however not quite so easy to pop round for a cup of tea and chat.
Earlier I noted that Jesus called his followers his friends and the Christian community should be a place where deep friendships can be formed. Sadly the Christian Church is not always known for its friendliness and warm welcome and this is something we might want to address! But let us rejoice when we experience the joy of quality friendship.
So, of those 3 Fs of family, Friends and Faith what might we need to work on?
Every BlessingBill Muncey