This is neither profound nor insightful, but friends are a good thing, and spending time with them doubly so.East Ruston Meadow

These days life often seems to be a constant mad rush: juggling work, doing busman’s holiday things for friends, various voluntary stuff at church and beyond (this band, that band, this meeting, that piece of preparation, this computer issue to resolve, oh, look, Street Pastors has come round again), domestic chaos, pet chaos, fortunately not marriage chaos, but it still takes time …  All of this punctuated by an almost constant mental refrain about wanting to do less and be more, and to get back to being able to invest in people and relationships, not just activities, no matter how good. And all the while realising that I don’t even have time to pick up “Do nothing to change your life” and finish it.

It’s all so much that when the social opportunities do rise, the initial reaction is frequently a mild sinking feeling – there goes that one free evening – shortly followed by the more appropriate happy anticipation of time with friends.

So, it’s been good recently to have been reminded through more than one semi-spontaneous occasion that spending time with friends is, to a large extent, what all the other stuff is supposed to enable, not obstruct. I think I can honestly say that time spent just being with friends – talking, sharing, living – has probably done more for my faith, and given more succor to my soul, than all of the rest of it, no matter how good, put together.

Friends: celebrate them, love them, appreciate them, spend time with them. It’s for your own good.