Sitting around a campfire at night. Laughter drifts around with the smoke as stories and jokes are shared. Gathering around a dinner table overflowing with carefully placed plates and platters of food. The murmur of multiple conversations creates an atmosphere of calm and familiarity. Driving in a car as carefully chosen music plays in the background. The talk ranges from the color of math to the meaning of life and the silence holds no awkwardness. These are the moments when I pause and appreciate the priceless value of good company.
I haven’t ever taken the time to ponder what really separates quality company from just a good time, but I can always feel it. There is a distinct feeling when the rarity and beauty of where I am becomes clear. I can feel it when I look around at my family, coming together from around the world for a wedding, celebration or holiday. I can feel it when we gather with long time family friends, catching up on each other’s highlights from the last year and recognizing that the value of our relationship does not change with time. I can feel it when I look at my friends, knowing that the challenges I have walked through with them create a bond of trust not easily broken. It is in these moments that I am struck by and come to understand the incredible power of history - the legacy of fond memories and foundational experiences at work in the present - and I think to myself that there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be.
Good company is so valuable because it takes time to develop. It is the accumulation of inside jokes over time. It is the unique bonds that can only be born from serving together, growing up together, or worshiping together. It is the silences that are never awkward and the doors that are never shut. It is the love of God being lived out in tried-and-true bonds of friendship.
It’s my opinion that every beautiful thing deserves to be written about. My desire is to capture a small fraction of the simple beauty these moments can hold, to somehow express the distinctive comfort and the joy of well-established friendship. I hope every person reading this is reminded of the familiar, welcoming presence of quality fellowship in their lives. I hope we all seek out long-lasting friendships. I hope we all stop to appreciate the significance and praise the Designer of good company.