So it wasn’t politics that drew me in, it was friendship. According to David Brooks, William F. Buckley’s greatest talent was friendship. It is thought that William Buckley wrote more personal letters than any other American. “He showered affection on his friends and he had an endless stream of them, old and young.” For someone who I previously tagged boring sounds like he was a lot of fun and found great joy in all he did. Even in work, he insisted on and implemented daily rituals that by all accounts were fun and possibly celebratory. Being a great political mind, his conversations were mostly about literature, history, theology, philosophy and the charms of the peculiar people he had known. Very few if any politicians would be found in his home but in the midst of his friends and companions were literary and social thinkers. Social thinkers in my mind are the fun people who plan parties and events. I think the social thinkers in the Buckley home had a greater scope for the big picture and the greater good.
His second talent, leadership. He led with charisma and merit. He lived a satisfied, extensive and comprehensive way of life. His joy was found in music, conversation, technology and adventure. William F. Buckley sounds like he enjoyed the grandeur of his life and it was a tad overwhelming to be admitted into it. David Brooks considered it an honor.
What a legacy and wonderful testimony of character. His greatest talent friendship, investing in lives through conversation and thought, through fun and ritual and in doing so sent out a great multitude of friends into the world. The mantle of mentor, encourager and replicator passed on to those who would in turn duplicate and imitate this kind of friendship in their own style and manner.
I am a sucker for friendship stories. One of my favorite passages in the Old Testament is the friendship of Jonathan and David. In Sunday Bible Study, new euphemism for Sunday School, we are going through the book of Acts. Our teacher is laying out for us what we see God doing in the church; He is doing individually in our lives. We can see a pattern for living God’s way in the book of Acts. We just finished up Acts 2. I believe that God lays out a pattern for friendship in Jonathan and David. Sometimes we are a “David” in that we are out in front leading. When we find ourselves in the role of David, we need a Jonathan. We need a friend behind the scenes praying, helping and encouraging us. The reverse is true; we need to be a “Jonathan” to our friends. I love that Jonathan taught David how to encourage himself in the Lord, Jonathan tutored David in the kingly ways and he loved David with unconditional God kind of love. In my studies I have come to the conclusion that for that short period of time that Jonathan and David were friends, Jonathan had a lasting impact on the rest of David’s life.
Right now I am thinking of friends from early on in my Christian walk who have made a lasting impression on me. Their legacy and role as mentor changed me dramatically. God brings alongside those we need instruction from and in turn brings us alongside those who need a little help and direction from us. Last week’s TAG, Think About God have been so good each day. I love this one:
Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us daily.
Don't wait for a great opportunity to help someone. Take advantage of all the small opportunities you have today. Each one has the potential to have great results.
Little things, small everyday things, we have opportunities and the potential to have great results in others and in ourselves. Great opportunities can overwhelm and stop us dead in our tracks just by thinking too much about the monumental weight of it.
I love that William F. Buckley loved rituals. Not the lifeless rituals that one thinks of firstly, but fun rituals maybe a bit unpredictable and non-ceremonial. I am thinking of fun rituals that I share with my close friends. We can crack ourselves up over one word. We need to celebrate victory and getting through a day without hitting our head against a wall, or floor in Michelle’s case.
A couple of months ago Roy and I were talking over dinner about friends and friendships. We have certainly known many fine people who make very fine friends. We have been so blessed.
So in this long 250th post I celebrate you all my friends, those who comment, those who just read and never comment, and those who comment anonymously.
Have more fun than you expect to have. Live, Love and Laugh.
A friend's a friend forever, so don't get bored with them and a friend won't throw you in a river just to see if you can swim. Oh it's hard to say no to the invite of let's go...oh a lifetime's not to long to live as friends.
Thanks for reading and let us hope it takes me a little longer than a couple of months to reach 300.