Are You Heeding this Advice?

In a coffee shop last week with my great friend and ministry colleague, Curtis Zackery, he shared a quote with me that I want to pass onto you. 

It certainly gave me reason to pause and think about the value of friendship in my personal life, the nature of it, and our proclivity to abandon it for the '2-foot ladder' (see Lecrae, "Fear) up which all of us so long to climb! 

C.S. Lewis says of friendship:

Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life. If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man [or woman] about a place to live, I think I should say, ‘sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends.

What a radical statement! I do not know of one person who has heeded this advice. This is not on any poster in a college admission office; no mentor has ever said this to me while in a state of transition; no great entrepreneur would advise a young start up associate to abandon all the hopes of riches and glory for the sake of friendship.

Yet, this statement turns my heart onto an emotion that I cannot ignore. Something about the richness of relationship lost on our culture gets renewed through this perspective. Are you willing to give up anything for the sake of friendship? - implies Lewis - one of the greatest commodities known to humankind. And at the risk of over-theologizing, did the Father not send his Son for grace and salvation so that we may be called... friends?

It is radical. It is audacious. It is true. I am convicted every time I read and re-read Lewis' quote. And I am compelled to dig once more and ask myself: "Am I living my life according to one of the greatest values that one could possibly enjoy, or as Lewis would say, according to the 'chief happiness of life?'"