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A walk in the park bannerA walk in the park? 
Dave Webb-Peploe briefly looks at some important benefits of friendship


The other day a mate of mine suggested that I should join him in taking some gentle exercise every week. This somewhat surprised me, given my superb physique, but in order to be sociable, we are now enjoying healthy walks every Wednesday morning. Last week it was Bushy Park, this week Virginia Water and who knows where next week? On both occasions the temperature has been on the very cold side but we have persisted. Encouraging one another as to the health benefits, combined with the aesthetic beauty of the places we visit has meant that we have persisted in something that we probably would not have done alone.
On a separate note, I recently learnt that a prominent Christian leader had returned to an old pattern of behaviour that had now gotten him into serious difficulties. And my first mental questions were: Who was his mate? Who was looking out for him? Who was watching his back so that a possible early warning signal could be given at the first sign of trouble?
Close mates are amongst the most important things we can have. For friendship, for shared interests, for idle chat and for early warnings. Do you have one or more early warning friends in your life? If not, get them. Who knows, you might find one or two of them here in church?