Friends that Stick Closer than a Brother

It’s been a while since my last mass email. This one is a little more thought provoking instead of a self-revelation.

I went home Friday night and I took the long way home. It gave me some time to think. A lot has been running through my head lately. My future, school, relationships, my life in Christ. Several really stood out so I thought I’d share what God’s been showing me and maybe it’ll be relevant in your life as well.

I’ve been thinking about how shallow my friendships have become recently. What I mean is that we have a lot more acquaintances than true friendships. My mother talks about friends of hers from college and she is still in contact with them. She knows all kinds of things about them. Now switch over to me. Maybe I don’t put forth the effort or people just don’t feel comfortable opening up to me, I don’t know, but that’s beside the point. I’ve got maybe two friends that I can tell you their parent’s names, siblings’ names and clubs and groups they were involved with in high school. Knowing these things, helps you better understand people. It helps you understand their outlook on life. I know this sounds like Soc 1010 but hey what do you expect. Seriously though, I’m not saying that by knowing these things you will be closer friends, but you have to wonder how close your friendship is when all you really know about the person is where they are from and their major. I think that is part of the problem with so many of us is that we have way too many acquaintances and not enough friends. Jesus spent 3 years with the disciples. He knew what foods they liked, how they would react to a situation before it happened, he knew if Peter liked black or brown sandals. He knew this not because he was God but because he invested his life into these people. I think that is something I need to work on more in my life.

Along those same lines is the fact that I’ve gotten so caught up in what will happen after graduation, that I’ve lost sight of what’s in front of me.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. - Colossians 4:2-6

I have not made the most of every opportunity lately. I’ve realized that these classes that I’m going to so I can graduate are full of people who want to know the love of God. I haven’t devoted myself to prayer for those around me and I haven’t been watchful. Looking at that verse right now, it’s amazing how much Paul mentions that we need to pray. God has been slowly bringing me out of my latest funk and been working on me about prayer. A couple of years ago, I didn’t think I could possibly pray for twenty minutes and now I’m not done in twenty minutes. I’m slowly learning not to pray but to allow God to lead me to pray. It’s amazing sometimes. You haven’t thought about something for a couple of weeks and God will bring it to mind while your praying. I’ve still got a long way to go but he is showing me a great deal about prayer. I’m slowly seeing as well that I’ve got to focus on today and not January. When Jesus talks about not worrying about tomorrow for today has enough cares of its own. I think he was talking about more than just worries. I think he was trying to tell us that there are objectives that he wants us to reach each day. Opening a door for someone, spending time in his word, going to class, smiling at someone, sharing with someone what Jesus has done in your life. When we put our focus on tomorrow, we miss all the things he has for us today.

The last thing I’ve been thinking about (this really is the last thing and then I’ll shut up). I’ve been thinking about “my future” and “my plans.” That’s just it. It’s been MY PLANS. At first, I had planned to stick around in Natchitoches till August and then do Habitat for a year. Then God began to work on me about doing Journeyman as soon as I graduate. Part of me was ok with it and the other part of me wasn’t.

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” - Luke 9:57-62

I’m not worried about not having a home if I go overseas. I not worried if I have to leave my friends and family. It will be hard but I can do it. The thing that God finally showed me was that I really wasn’t willing to give up on a relationship. My days are short at NSU and I’ve been holding out all hope that I would find someone and we would live happily ever after. God asked me if I would be willing to remain single with no possibility of a relationship for another 2 years. (You are not allowed to date as a Journeyman). So basically, the whole thing boiled down to: Do I follow God and remain single or go my own way and try finding it on my own.

I can’t say that I’ve totally resolved this yet either. Though God’s slowly giving me a peace about the whole situation and letting me rest in the fact that he will work all things out for the good of those who love him.

I know I’ve gone on and on but hopefully something stuck out and will let think about what God’s doing in your life.

Gracias para todo y vayan con Dios.