The complexities of our spinning world grow more bewildering, but the love of good friends remains real, constant, and identifiable. The first time I went to an Asilomar Conference and Retreat at the tip of the Monterey Peninsula, I hardly knew a soul there. Over the years I’ve attended retreats and conferences, I now know people that I count as true friends.
As I grow older, the thing that most stands out in my relationships is the spiritual connection I have with those whom I share my day-to-day experience. Those who use this “power for Good in the Universe” that Ernest Holmes talked about are the ones I enjoy sharing time with. We have a common conversational ground on which to tread, and inevitably, someone will share a truth that everyone can identify with, animating the discussion to cosmic levels of Truth. The joy of participating in a dialogue about God escalates to a fevered pitch when one theory or idea builds on another idea or theory, and the conclusion reached is common to all present. Years ago, my friend Eric Crisman said, “There is nothing more orgasmic than a bunch of people sitting around talking about God.” I never forgot that.
These God-conversation friendships are more than casual acquaintances. They are the deeply rooted relationships that transcend time and space. They are part of the greater family in the eyes of God, and other than our common spiritual self-discovery, there is nothing emotionally historical that clouds the issue at hand. As we share who we are spiritually, a blend of Truth takes form. Rev. Helen Street said once, “Wisdom results when one reads a truth or hears a truth someone else articulates or writes and immediately identifies with it.”
Setting aside the complexities of the world, I go to any conference or retreatto seek the peace and comfort in the simplicities of life – the company of wise friends, good food, and God in all things.
“The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson