Now and Later – Part 2 of 4

So, back to the spit…

It may have been superstition, but we believed swallowing a brother’s spit was akin to the grossest possible scenario – and always produced the automatic vomit trigger in the bowels of any sibling who ever tried such heretical shenanigans. If it was spit upon – then no matter how much it was wanted or desired by another, it quickly became poisonous dreck – and was shunned at once.

I digress for a moment to let you understand how gross NOW and LATERS were if ever swallowed by another sibling.

I know some people who will eat food like that; they will eat some at the coffee shop, wrap it up and save the rest in a napkin. Then a day later, they will pull the napkin out with the slightly crusty item and nibble some more. Then, two days later, they go to the movies with a friend and sneak that crusty, napkin-wrapped thing in with them to munch on during the flick.

Now I’m all for saving some goodies for later but, that’s just flat-out weird.

The thing I liked about NOW & LATERS was that you could, in theory, eat some now and wrap up the remainder for later, and no one would be the wiser.

I was thinking about this concept lately with regard to how we treat our friends. Many people today have friends for a awhile, and then when they are done with them, that friendship is basically discarded. You know, they are friends for NOW, but not for LATER. The excuse is often something like “Well I can’t be everybody’s friend.” or “I moved to a new town. What do you expect from me?”

Hey, I understand completely. I have been a pastor in 6 different congregations, some of those were way over 1000 regular attenders. I have thousands and thousands of people who might be considered friends (even more if you consider Facebook. I have tried to keep those “friends” down in number on FB as it is) so I do understand that you cannot cultivate a hundred, a thousand, even fifty close friendships. You really can only build and grow a handful at a time. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot consider all of the other friends your friends.

For a few others, once a friend, always a friend. I like the idea of having a lot of friends. I don’t need to cultivate most of those friendships anymore. Once they grow to a certain point, friends for life; as far as I am concerned. Now everyone doesn’t need to be like me. You can choose to have as many friends as you want.

But here is my BEEF – those who use their friends when they are needed NOW, and then toss those friends as soon as their “usefulness” has passed, I really don’t think that is cool. And I know that friends who feel tossed to the side after a deep and mutually benefiting relationship had been built do not think that is cool either.

So the question is, when it comes to friendship, are you a “Now & Later” friend, or just a “Now” friend?

More to come in Part 3 and Part 4 of “Now and Later”

Keep smiling,

Jeff

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