Rise: The Great Fifty Days 39

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Knowing God better and better is an achievement of friendship. “When two persons fall in love there may be such a strong feeling of fellowship, such a delight in the friend’s presence, that one may lose oneself in the deepening discovery of another person.” The self and the person loved become equally real.

There are, therefore, three questions which we may ask, “Do you believe in God?” That is not getting very far. “The devils believe and tremble.” Second, “Are you acquainted with God?” We are acquainted with people with whom we have had some business dealings. Third, “Is God your friend?” or putting this another way, “Do you love God?”

It is this third stage that is really vital. How is it to be achieved? Precisely as any friendship is achieved. By doing things together. The depth and intensity of the friendship will depend upon variety and extent of the things we do and enjoy together. Will the friendship be constant? That again depends upon the permanence of our common interests, and upon whether or not our interests grow into ever widening circles, so that we do not stagnate. The highest friendship demands growth. “It must be progressive as life itself is progressive.” Friends must walk together; they cannot long stand still together, for that means death to friendship and to life.

Friendship with God is the friendship of child with parent. As an ideal son grows daily into closer relationship with his father, so we may grow into closer love with God by widening into his interests, and thinking his thoughts and sharing his enterprises.

Frank C. Laubach, Letters By A Modern Mystic, October 11, 1931

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