Friends can be a blessing or a curse, they can be a reason or an excuse, they can be your voice of reason, or a final cure for even thinking. Friends can be dangerous or safe, like the internet, it’s all dependent on what you chose to browse. Friends like Ships have no morality, they are going where they are going, you are the one who decides to onboard or alight.
So let’s examine our friendships, and ask ourselves where they have carried us, and let’s ask ourselves today, where they are carrying us. Who knows, we may make some decisions that could be life transforming.
Growing up, friends were the doors to all sorts of vices. Maybe you can try these on for size. Score yourself. Forgive me if this is more male centered, I think male friends are more impactful – negative and positive in the early years.
1. A friend was responsible for your realizing that there was something special about the opposite sex. You saw everyone as equal until a “spoilt” friend somewhere in nursery or primary school pointed it out. It was like a revelation, and your life did not remain the same. Friends.
2. All your mummy and daddy role plays were just regular children play, until someone showed you a bigger picture – A friend.
3. Your journey into pornography was, yours truly, a Friend. That copy of “Ikebe super”, or “Dauda the Sexy guy”, was passed around by a friend.
4. Your first girl friend (or boy friend) was friend motivated. A friend told you of his own escapades and spurred you on. Go for it he said, and you did! Friends!
5. Your first puff of cigarette, or first drain of the remaining contents in a bottle of alcohol was friend motivated, or maybe a cousin or uncle acting as a friend.
6. Your first sexual journey was friend inspired. You had always looked at the girl as just a friend, but a friend convinced you that she wanted something more with you. A friend opened your eyes to win a few slaps, and ultimately go so far. Friends!
7. You took your parents car out, long before they knew you could even drive – Friends. You borrowed movies from friends that were way past your age rating – Friends!
8. You took what belonged to your parents, or in your words – “What they didn’t need anymore, and found a way to sell it to make some money. You called it striking! The idea is to just make a little box, so that you can have what to spend with friends. Your friends are doing it, you don’t want to slack. Friends!
9. You took different forms of bets! From bets on playing table tennis or snooker, to bets on chasing and toasting a girl, bets on going all the way, bets on getting into all types of trouble, just because a friend dared you! Friends!
10. Sometimes these friends are siblings, sometimes they are cousins, sometimes uncles, and a few times house helps. They introduce us into worlds our parents thought we were to innocent for, worlds our parents had no ideas we were already recruiting others into. From influenced friends we became influential friends. Some friends have led friends to prison, and some to death row. Friends are dangerous!
Can you imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t breakaway from certain friendships?
Friends were not all bad though, there were some really good friends, and what would life be without them. You can try a few of these one for size.
1. The first time you read a book, it was because you saw a friend reading it, you asked to read it after them. Friends pushed you into developing a vocabulary, reading wide and becoming someone capable of enjoying the journey of literature. Friends.
2. You couldn’t fathom how people who you played with, argued with and had fun with can pass a test while you failed. Friends gave you the needed ginger to motivate yourself and ensure you were not the dullard of your class. Friends.
3. A friend made you want to be the best you could be. You were friends, and you were not going to be outdone by them. There was friendship, but there was also competition and rivalry. You wanted to outdo each other, and you ended up both outdoing your contemporaries. Friends do that!
4. A friend inspired your relationship with God. They were always going somewhere to pray, so you decided to join them. They were going to fellowship and you decided to tag along. You didn’t really know Jesus for yourself, but you came along with a friend. Today you probably are deeper into the relationship than your friend. Friends do that!
5. Your parents couldn’t afford a bike, you rode a friends own. Your parents were tight with their car, you learnt with a friend’s parent’s own. Your parents didn’t have a VCR, so you watched at a friends place. Friends offer us the leverage of their own possibilities.
6. You didn’t understand what they were saying in class, you were clearly struggling, but your friend seemed to get a hang. Your friend thought you what you didn’t know, showed you from their own lens and it stuck. Friends share the good opportunities that come their way, friends back their friends up.
7. You were weak, but you had strong friends. Your strong friends made you untouchable in your weakness, and you made them untouchable in theirs. With good friends you can seem to easily form voltrun, when alone you could have probably run.
8. Oh and yes, but for a friend, you would have gotten into big trouble. Sometimes all the voice of reason you had in not going as far as you could with what would have changed the course of your life was a the voice of a friend. Sometimes your friends were totally silent, but the thought of sharing what you had just done with them, kept you sane!
9. Honestly… I could go on, but I sense you get the picture already.
Friends make or mar us. They are like ships, they carry us the way they are going. They are like the internet, capable of good or evil depending on the ones we choose. We don’t choose our families, but we choose our friends. Take an inventory today, and be deliberate. Ask, “My Friendship, where are you carrying me to?”.