Sailing the FriendShip

‘When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.’ This is what friends do.

I don’t know what kind of day you had yesterday or the day before or the day before that. I do know that our days come bundled good with bad and sometimes we need a pickax and floodlight to find the sliver of good. This is why in God’s plan he created friends. Proverbs 17:17 says “A friend loves at all times.” A friend is someone who knows all about you and loves you anyway. When you think of your circle of friend, who do you see? There’s a reason why I surround myself with positive people.

I’ve heard that everything we need to know, we learned in kindergarten. In fact, Robert Fulghum wrote a book with a similar title. In it he shares conventional wisdom like ‘Share everything’ ‘Play fair’ ‘Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody’ and my personal favorite ‘When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.’ This is what friends do.

How was your day yesterday? What are you expecting today? Ecclesiastes 9:1 pretty much spells it out for us. “Then I understood that God has power over everyone, even those of us who are wise and live right. Anything can happen to any of us, and so we never know if life will be good or bad.” We will have days when things just click …  and then we will have days when nothing happens the way we want it to.

Sometimes it’s hard to chisel ourselves out of a really hard place. When we talk about being in our groove but it’s more like being wrenched in a rut, Psalm 143:1 throws us a tow rope: “Listen, Lord, as I pray! You are faithful and honest and will answer my prayer.”

I’ve had days that seemed stuck, like in Ground Hog Day. I was sure I wore God out praying a lot like David’s prayer in Psalm 143:10 “You are my God. Show me what you want me to do, and let your gentle Spirit lead me in the right path.” God is not a magician. I didn’t pray and ‘Presto!’ all the muddy anxieties disappeared. But God has, in those times, sent a friend to come alongside to pray and hold me up when all the crud was pushing deeper into a pit.

Are you going through tough times? Maybe you need to cash in a friend ticket. To have a friend, you have to be a friend. Maybe you hold the friend ticket and it’s your turn to be a friend to someone who is in a pit and can’t find their way out. Is there someone who needs to know you’re there for them? You know, the Internet is an instant communication tool. Instant gratifications aren’t always bad. This is where the ‘Presto!’ comes in. Email and social media are instant conduits to share precious moments with people you care about. If that doesn’t work for you, try a phone call, text message, or a paper card you actually write on and put in the mail.

A friend loves at all times: Proverbs 17:17

In 1983 Neil Diamond wrote a song that personifies friendship. Every time I hear “Turn on your heart-light. Let it shine wherever you go. Let it make a happy glow. For all the world to see.” It makes a warm glow in my heart-light. I don’t want to call it a challenge, but let’s call it a gentle nudge. Is there someone in your circle who needs a friend? Reach out to them. Is it you who needs a little extra help in finding the small sliver of good in every day? Reach out and ask for it. 

Turn on your heart-light
Let it shine wherever you go
Let it make a happy glow
For all the world to see

-Neil Diamond

Could you be a true friend? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

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