It depends on what stage of life you are talking about. You can only have one best friend at a time, like in high school, college, graduate school, church, or even from childhood. If we are fortunate we can go through life having lots of best friends, each at a different time in our lives.
There is a line of thought that God sends you special people when you need them. These friends help you through the tough times of growing up, maturing, learning to live in the world, worshiping, and having someone to talk to when in need. I have been favored by God to have had many of those special people in my life who are there when I need them. God blesses us in ways we cannot imagine with friends.
Tonight while watching college football scores on ESPN, I noticed that the old alma mater was having a really sucky year. Now, alma mater is not tow-mater’s wife (from the Disney movie, Cars). It is the college where I spent so many wonderful, and trying years learning to drink beer and become an engineer. That’s where I met Pete, my best friend in college, and probably for life.
Pete and I have nothing in common. He is the prototype sportsman with his hunting and fishing and softball teams. I am the consumate nere-do-well, techie nerd who goes to sleep in the car while my buddies are out early in the morning fishing, or hunting squirrels. I could never muster the money for a deer hunting rifle, or I would have slept through that experience, too.
Pete and I trust each other, and have pretty much the same set of values. We were there for each other at a critical time in our lives. We met in freshman English class, the bane for freshmen as it was designed to flunk as many of us baby boomer kids as possible. It is downright scary what they would do to you in freshman English, like tell you that Robert Frost’s character in his poem, “Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening”, was having unnatural relations with his horse. “He gives his harness bells a shake to ask if there’s been some mistake…” Oh, those dirty minded English teachers.
We were each others best man, and have kept in touch, pretty much, in the forty plus years since those college days. Our wives are friends, and we know, and love their children. I was thinking about asking Pete to be my lead pall bearer, but he is getting too old for strenuous duty, not that he would be needed anytime, soon. I suppose we could get a life-sized cardboard cut-out with Pete’s picture in place at the critical time, and that might suffice.
So, I called my best friend tonight to find out what the hell has been going on with the football team. They have been downright embarrassing, lately.
Pete, being Pete, responded with his soothing words of, “Now, Bob, you know we never had a decent football team. But, the basketball team will be awesome!” Now, there’s a friend for you. He always tells the truth, and fakes it enough to make you feel good.
It’s nice to have a friend like Pete. He’s always the best!