"I always like to know everything about my new friends, and nothing about my old ones."
~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Trusting Oscar for pearls of wisdom, or at least his charcters in Dorian Gray, is a risky endeavor to embark upon. I recently finished Dorian Gray, and while I found Oscar's wit far exceeded my own, I did not agree with much the guy had to say. However, this quote is one that I've heard many times and I've thought about it quite a lot recently.
When I was in the social-service organization Outreach, an evangelistic/ministry type group at Oklahoma Christian, I became skilled at meeting new people and making new friends. Inclusion was one of the greatest aspects of Outreach and was a place that all types of people felt welcome. Several mission trips, and a few excursions overseas, further developed the ability to meet and love new people and I quickly found that I really enjoyed getting to know others. There is always so much to learn from new people, and they always seem so more incredibly interesting than myself anyways.
However, this past month I've had the opportunity to spend time with some of my "old friends." My friend Melissa, who is probably my longest lifetime friend, came in and we spent several days catching up and reminiscing. Then I spent quality time with some of my best guy friends - Peter and Travis - on a road trip, and I also had the chance of seeing a close friend, Alayna, from Arizona this morning. Add on top of that a very heartfelt note from my friend Ann in Brazil, and I am left feeling very content and blessed by my friendships.
So I don't quite agree with Sir Wilde. Yes, I love learning all about my new friends. I get a sense of wonder when hearing all about their adventures, hopes, dreams, and more for the first time. But there is great joy in knowing that you have friends you can count on, who will love you regardless of how quirky you are even if you happen to get grumpy at around 10 o'clock, and who will make you feel relatively normal when you confess your neurotic thoughts.
Sorry for waxing nostalgic in this post, but I felt this quote pushed me to speak on what a great blessing friendship is. Now I bid you adieu, I have a friend in from California this afternoon to hang out with!