At church this morning the message was about friendship. Well, it was more than that, but that was the basic theme. The story was from Luke 19:1-10 where Jesus invites Zacchaeus down from the tree and tells him they're going to his house. Zacchaeus was a tax collector and wasn't thought of highly by his friends and others for his ways of collecting taxes. Regardless of this, though, Jesus still calls out to him using proximity (as he is close to him, calling him by name). Affinity (shared interests) is shown through this story as well, as Jesus and Zacchaeus go to share a simple meal together. Why give you the back story on this you ask? Well, because.
Because our pastor asked us to think about our own friendships. How did those friendships come to be? Was there someone who, like Jesus, came into your life like He did to Zacchaeus, just at the right time? Was there someone who made a difference in your life to perhaps send you down a different path than the one you were currently on? I thought about this in my own life and wondered about it for a while. When thinking about my faith and friendship in this situation, there is a specific friend that comes to mind.
We were friends at the beginning because of proximity-because we were in middle school together and in a lot of the same classes together. Then our friendship became more because of affinity. We liked the same kinds of things and as we got into high school, shared similar interests. She showed me things I didn't know about faith and God. It was really because of her that I know much of what I know about me and my faith. She shared her favorite Christian songs with me. She helped me with what is could look like or sound like to pray. She was a true friend all the way around. Even now, as we both have families of our own, she continues to be that friend. Although we may not see each other as much as we'd like or talk as much as we wish we had time for, I know she'll always be there for me. I know she cares about me like I care about her. Just knowing that helps. As life changes, I know she'll always be there.
This is what I took away from today's message: remember the friend that was there for you-whenever that may have been-and PAY IT FORWARD. Find someone you can do something similar for. This is what I'll try to do in the future. Maybe not today, but someday.