I have previously commented on another Grant book, Shelf Life: How Books Have Changed the Destinies and Desires of Men and Nations. This book is a companion volume written in the same format- vignettes and compiled quotes. It is an easy read, encouraging and challenging. One of the most common challenges for pastors is developing close friendships, dealing with isolation. This book rightly holds up the value of friendship as a gift from God. It is not aimed at pastors, but in reading I did think of the difficulty of so many pastors who feel isolated and alone. This book might encourage you to seek out real friendships in your labor. What a blessing it is when you can have true friends laboring as pastors right alongside you! This is a joy I am blessed to know.
Here are a few quotes:
“All kinds of things rejoiced my soul in the company of my friends – to talk and laugh and do other kindnesses; read pleasant books together, pass form lightest jesting to talk of the deepest things and back again; differ without rancour, as a man might differ with himself, and when most rarely dissension arose find our normal agreement all the sweeter for it; teach each other or learn from each other; be impatient for the return of the absent, and welcome them with joy on their homecoming; these and such like things, proceeding from our hearts as we gave affection and received it back, and shown by face, by voice, by the eyes, and a thousand other pleasing ways, kindled a flame which infused our very souls and of many made us one. This is what men value in friends.” – St. Augustine
“A friend hears the song of the heart and sings it when memory fails.” – Martin Luther
“Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” – George Washington
“We love those who know the worst of us and don’t turn their faces away.” – John Buchan
“…it is seeing ourselves in the context of community, of relationships, and of friendships that ultimately give meaning to our search for meaning and purpose in life. Indeed, no man is an island.” – Andrew Nelson Lytle