"Two may talk together under the same roof for many years, yet never really meet, and two others at first speech are old friends."
~ Author Unknown

Very few quoted have resonated with me quite so much as this in recent months, a time during which God has truly blessed me with those that he has brought into my life.

Through it, I have grown and been nourished. I have learnt and been taught, I have laughed and cried. Most importantly, my faith has flourished. There is no doubting that God brings people into our lives for a reason, and whilst He gives us freedom to explores the boundaries of our new relationships, He eventually guides us back to those very reasons.

I cherish the relationships that I have with my closest friends, some of whom I have known all of my life, the very same who have guided me through the dark spectre of depression and the death of my fiancée Danielle.

However, I hold in equal esteem those who have walked into my life more recently, and have left an indelible imprint. Whilst friendship needs foundation, as with that so special quote above, my faith leads me to believe that God sets those foundations in some friendships long before people even meet.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive.”
~ Anäis Nin

Recently, I met someone with whom I was able to speak openly about parts of my life that I had previously never felt comfortable discussing with even the oldest and dearest of friends in my life. That I did so openly allowed me to reflect that we often have little or no control of those with whom we connect on an emotional level.

The warning here is that we spend so much time being reserved about people that we do not know well, we miss the glaring obvious of a special relationship blossoming before our eyes. I have no doubt that this is something of which I have been guilty in the past.

When we meet those rare people whom elicit trust, openness and happiness, we owe it to ourselves to embrace it. I am always drawn to a quote from the novelist, Edith Wharton:-

“There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one's self, the very meaning of one's soul.”
~ Edith Wharton

I would argue only that even if you feel that you have that person in your life already, explore it. The worst that can happen is that you still have that one ‘soul-mate’ with whom you started, but would it not be great if you found yourself with 2?

Of course, there are only too many people who will warn us about being spontaneity, even labelling us impulsive. I have one friend, whose friendship I still treasure, but who is always inclined towards warning as opposed to encouragement. We all need to be saved from our impetuosity at times, but not quite so regularly!

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
~ C.S. Lewis

There are so many quotes that we read, attributed to goals, business success and love, but so many are also true to friendship, but we never know unless we step out of our comfort zone and open our hearts enough to let someone in. I am certainly not advocating baring your soul to every stranger that you meet, but allow yourself the opportunity for someone to come into your life in a truly meaningful way.

From a personal perspective, this comes down to the complete faith I have in God, and the trust I have in those that he brings into my life. There is a reason, whether it is I that can add something to their life, vice-versa, or most likely that we can impact on each others’ lives.

For me, the true essence of friendship lies in what I want to do for my friends. The word ‘want’ is not one that I happily associate with friendship, but let me explain further.

The simple fact is that I know that I can rely on my friends, but the biggest gift a friend can give me is the indication of the comfort and knowledge that they can rely on me. When my friends can turn to me about anything at anytime, I know that I too am being a friend to them. Friendship is a two-way journey.

Of course, I would rather that they not need an ear or a shoulder too often, because we always want the best for our friends. In an ideal world, we would spend as much of our time as possible around friends smiling, whether in silence or loud laughter.

Where this leads to is the need to actually evaluate our true friendships. Ask yourself the question … are you really being the best friend that you can be, and equally, are your friends really there for you when you need them?

Friendships evolve just as people evolve. As we grow in maturity, and if appropriate in spirituality, so should our personal relationships. If this is not the case, we really need to question their value. Again, I am not suggesting for a minute that we go up to our friends and ditch them, quoting that we have matured so have no need for them! However, we do need to assess how best we can contribute to them.

Friendships are based on common ground, and if 2 people grow in opposite directions, it is clear that the relationship is going to change. It is part of our evolution and we should not fight it, besides which nobody is for a minute saying that the friendship will end, just that you will require other friends on whom you can rely to satisfy for your changing needs.

We change. The friends we need change, and if we are honest we will find that we are ourselves unable to add the type of value that we once did to the friendship because of these changes.

However, true friends are for life, so we have to make that adjustment to serve our friends, but we should be equally open to accepting new people into those lives who may better empathise with us as we grow.

I consistently feel blessed by the people in my life. Some serve my spiritual needs, some play devil’s advocate to my excesses, others provide the smile when I am down. Just one or two provide all of the above!

If I can give all of this and more back to my friends, it serves my purpose in life. The word servant has negative connotations in modern culture, but if I live to serve God, then so do I to serve my friends, come rain or shine.

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
~ Ephesians 6:18

So ask yourself, are you ready to let people into your life, warts and all? Are you ready to answer the call of your friends at 4am, 7 nights per week? Are you prepared to serve your friends, always treat them respect, and not say a single word to others that you would not say to their face?

The answers will tell you a lot about the quality of your friendships …

Author's Bio: 

Rohan Kallicharan is a freelance writer who writes mainly for sporting websites. However, his personal website recounts his journey of faith, of a life turned around from chronic depression and the death of his fiancée, to one in which he is guided constantly and lives happily in God's light.