I once heard a sermon by my friend Dale.
The whole point of his sermon was that we need three kinds of people in our lives.
We need the people that are out ahead of us in life.
We need the people who are at similar places to our own.
We need the people who are behind us. We need people to cheer on.
That's a lot of people. That's a lot of investment. That's not easy to do.
But who said life was easy.
Thursday, I was having a minor melt down. I needed to talk to someone who had successfully gotten just beyond their teenagers high school years. Someone who would understand what I was trying to sort out. I prayed that God would help me think of someone I could talk to. Someone that would truly help me make sense of what I was trying to work through. The first friend that came to mind, was "in class" and I knew was not available for four more whole hours. That wasn't gonna work. Patience was not what I was feeling. The next person was someone I knew I had a shot at reaching. Score. She answered the phone and she was available. She listened. She taught. She helped sort. She encouraged. At the end, I said I think I've been praying the wrong prayer. I told her how I intended to pray going forward. Before we got off the phone she prayed for me and my whole family. One of the reasons why I thought of her is because she truly loves my whole family. And, boy was I glad that I called her.
Friday, I took off on a two day trip with some girlfriends. The second kind of people. The ones you discover the world with. Some are new friends, others I have long histories with. Oh the stories we can now tell. The sweet memories... The embarrassing moments... The shared humor over things no one else would really appreciate. Pictionary can be boring at this point. We read each others minds to well. We laugh, cry and learn together. We care very deeply about each other. These are some of the speed dial women in my life.
Sunday was been a chance to see the ones coming up behind. The chance to see the younger people of our community. Tonight I got to serve alongside one of those young women. We cleaned up together. Our church had a Palm Sunday Celebration. 400 plus people in the Sanctuary eating a meal together. This means there was some cleaning up to do. First we shared a smile. Then we laughed about this and that. We enjoyed progressing towards our goal together. Nothing significant was said. We just enjoyed each other. I think that's significant. Time well spent. And the tables got put away too.
Tonight one of our pastors reminded us that we are known by our love. Do we love one another? Do we invest in, care for and enjoy one another? I really hurt for people who are to afraid to come in close... to extend themselves to others... to risk loving and being loved.
When Dale preached this sermon years ago, I was reminded how rich with friendships my life has been. On that day I made a decision to be more available to younger women.
This weekend I have been reminded again how rich with friendship and love my life is and, Lord willing, will continue to be.