Growing up, we meet all kinds of people. Some make us smile as we pass them in a hallway and others come to our house for games of tag, Star Trek phaser fights or baking cookies with our moms. By high school, we think some of these friends will be around for a lifetime. We can't imagine life without them.
College and romantic relationships crowd out some of those friendships, even though we planned to always keep in touch. Those who begin families find their time full of little league games or trips to amusement parks. Before long, those precious friendships of the past seem all but a forgotten memory.
Then, Came Our 50s
Then, you reach your late fifties. Suddenly, you begin to wonder "what ever happened to old what's his name?"
Last year, my forty-year high school reunion became a fascinating time of re-connecting with many familiar faces of the past. Since then, I've seen and heard so much about the lives of long-lost friends.
Brandy moved to Las Vegas, raised a beautiful family and continued in her relationship with Jesus. Through Facebook, I enjoyed seeing her children reach several exciting milestones and marveled at her ability to keep looking young.
Some years ago, Connie survived a horrific back injury and fought through the pain to reclaim an active outdoor life in Colorado. How wonderful to see her and her husband riding bikes and enjoying physically challenging recreation.
One of the truly good guys from high school, Mark lost his wife unexpectedly. Yet, he continues to get the most out of life and contemplates a major move next year.
Perhaps, Bonnie became one of the most interesting classmates since our graduation. She continues to practice her faith amid life's many challenges. Over the past year, I've prayed with her through some health challenges. She makes me smile when I see her faith-filled responses to life's curve balls.
Now, she faces another mountain and could use our prayers, even though she remains full of faith and courage.
Closer Than a Brother
Reconnecting with all these people reminds me that there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Jesus is there for those of us who call His name. Regardless the life challenges, He watches over us and keeps us. All we need to do is invite Him into our lives, confess our sins and accept His free gift of forgiveness. These small steps begin an epic journey that has the power to transform us for the better. If you haven't, won't you make this step today?