George Eliot reminded us that part of the reason we share space on this planet is to make life less difficult for each other. So it is with friends who strive to be there for you, ready to lift you over the heartbreaks and unexpected disappointments of life, and ready at a moment’s notice to wrap you warmly in a cloak of heartfelt joy. Today, let’s honor the joys of friendship, the ones that make life far less difficult!
Even Jesus elevated the nature of being friends when He told His disciples, “I have called you my friends.” Certainly that is a friendship that changed their lives, their attitudes and their direction in a way that nothing else could have done. Some friendships are like that! Some people come into your life and you know from that moment on, everything will be different. Oh, it might not be easier in the sense that you now have fairy tale dreams that come true, and it might not be filled with absolute clarity or direction or purpose, but still it is changed. It’s changed because now you know you’re not alone. Now you know that someone else is paying attention, noting your dreams, praying for your direction and hoping with you that life will now be less difficult.
Some people look at success and think that it has something to do with bigger houses, better bank accounts, more trophies and things they can somehow achieve on their own. Some people look at success as getting out of bed each day, putting their feet on the floor and letting go of any need to design the day in a way that seems to give them control. The truth is that there are many measures of success and no one of them is actually better than others, unless you are willing to take a little inventory of who you are and what you have to share in relationship with others. You may discover that your success is best measured in knowing your friends and in knowing how to be a friend.
Perhaps we take friendship as a given, assume that everybody has friends and that it’s no great thing to establish one or two or twelve others to walk with you on your journey. Perhaps it’s so for some, but not for me. For me, it’s friends who support my life when it’s falling awry and I can’t quite understand the direction of it. It’s friends who cheer me on when I’m making a decision that doesn’t fit what others might think I should do. It’s friends who are there when you question whether God has forgotten about you, or if your family will ever really understand you. Friends are the cornerstones, the family that walks with you every step of the way, helping you get safely home. Friends help make life less difficult for each other.
As we start the New Year, let’s salute our friendships, the ones we’ve had for years, the ones that are still growing, and the ones we will make as the year unfolds. We were put here to learn from each other, to grow together, and to discover all that God meant for us to be and nothing is a more powerful teacher than a true friend.
To my own dear friends, I offer heartfelt thanks. You make such a difference in my life!