Devoted Friend

Spend Spare Time Wisely Playing Golf or Watching Baseball

Ed, my old neighbor, and self-adopted cousin told me last week that he will regularly be golfing at the Melville Golf Course this season. Other years, he liked to golf with me out at Neudorf. The golf course there wasn’t much of a challenge for Ed, but he liked it because I always drove. We both loved the extremely reasonable price to golf at Neudorf. My lack of skill at golfing gave Ed constant amusement. He could not believe that my aim with a golf club sent my golf balls to places that no golf ball had ever gone before. Ed will vouch that I have an astonishing talent for amazingly bad and unpredictable golfing. My old neighbor claimed that my golfing made him both laugh and duck.

Ed knew that while we were waiting to get settled at Chilliwack, that we had some spare time to kill. When I informed Ed, that it was a chance for me to do reading he was not surprised or impressed. Ed believes that reading any book is a huge waste of time, right up there with gardening. When I was his neighbor, he devoted a lot of time to telling me that both activities were only for women. I told my old neighbor that I was reading the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde. Ed said, “Glad you’ve moved away, for sure, you going into your second childhood. Stop the nonsense of reading fairy tales and play golf or watch the ball game on television.”

Playing golf or watching ball games are not viewed as offensive or dangerous. Oscar Wilde wrote that it was always dangerous to tell a story with a moral. Still, each of his fairy tales contains a moral meant to hit a home run in the minds of people reading his stories. In his tale of Big Hugh the Miller and Little Hans the Gardener, we get a picture of the unselfishness of true friendship. Big Hugh talked about devoted friendship but was one who took advantage of his friend the gardener. He refused to visit Hans, the gardener when he was hungry and cold in the winter. Big Hugh promised Hans his old, broken wheelbarrow but never kept his promise of giving it to him. At the funeral of Little Hans, the Miller walked at the head of the funeral procession clueless that he was a terrible friend rather than a devoted friend. Big Hugh never understood how Little Hans was the truly devoted friend in their relationship as friends. Sometimes we cannot see the truth of sinfulness in ourselves. We may also miss the goodness of a friend’s actions towards us.

The test of being a devoted friend is not what we say about friendship, but how we behave towards a friend. Occasionally, a friend will give his or her life to save a friend. Jesus was a good friend to all people for he willingly died to pay the ransom of all sins with his sinlessness by his crucifixion. He suffered the punishment for all our sins to save us from the eternal punishment of hell. Jesus is the Savior of those who admit to being sinners needing forgiveness before God.

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Raymond Maher
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