[Jesus said,] “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
Last Sunday night I received an e-mail which I thought was a joke. It said, “Michael Ferrini wants to be friends on Facebook”. It turns out that there is a man in California with my same name that wanted to be Facebook friends with me. I do not have a common name and I was taken aback just a bit by seeing me wanting to be friends with me. Having nothing to do with that presumably fine man on the West Coast and everything to do with this guy on the East Coast, I decided to decline the request.
“Michael Ferrini wants to be friends….” That statement speaks to me and in a certain sense haunts me. It nagged at me whether or not I would want me as a friend. It poked at me whether or not I would decline my friendship. It should be said that I have quite a bit in common with me – we have the same tastes in music and movies, stand on the same side politically and serve in the same profession. It should also be said that I am guilty of all of the things that annoy me most – we both are opinionated, verbose and emotional ‘stuffers’. It would be fine to hang out with me if we were watching a movie or catching a game, but torture if I had to grab a cup of coffee with me.
This all leads me to the supreme question: If I would not spend time with me, why would anyone else? The Scriptures talk about removing the plank in my eye before attempting to remove the dust in another’s eye, so I need to get busy building the woodpile. Plank 1: I talk too much (having an opinion about everything isn’t license to share them). Plank 2: I think too little about others (a conversation is gave-and-take, not take-and-take – I could listen a whole lot more). Plank 3: I interact too seldom (would a card or a call kill me?). … Plank 99: I share too little of myself (excepting perhaps this blog post).
“Michael Ferrini wants to be friends….” He does. But as the old adage goes: To have a friend one must be a friend. My friend-being is not acceptable. Thank you, Michael Ferrini, for making your ‘friend request’ but I have come to believe that I have a great deal of work to do before I would be comfortable accepting.