Life milestones mark important events – birthdays, anniversaries, a New Year, or beginning. They also bring an awareness of growing old, values one holds close, and friends. This year I especially think of friends who are no longer living close to me. Their importance in my life has not diminished over time; rather they are an important part of my thoughts, hope, and dreams.
Initially I thought my reaction was unique. As I look around, I can see it in my daughters and friends. Paul shared the same sentiment. “And God, whom I so love to worship and serve by spreading the good news of his Son – the Message! – knows that every time I think of you in my prayers, which is practically all the time, I ask him to clear the way for me to come and see you.” (Romans 1.9,10)
Carli is looking to see her friends soon. Whitney writes frequently, as long as they write back, and Cherry makes the special phone calls to those in her thoughts. Everyone carries the memories of spending time and sharing life with people they treasure.
In my own journey, I find myself carrying a small group of friends with me. I am also discovering the experience of sharing these friends with God, not as burdens rather as part of the network nurturing my soul. There is an important shift underway. Initially I brought only my cares, fears, and doubts to God, mine and those I saw in my friends. The process left me with a questioning my purpose and sense of selfishness. Were my concerns and issues the most important thing I could share with God?
Paul found a better answer; thinking about God and friends together is the most complete way to carry your memories. The times we had together are good and pure! God recommends that this is what I should reflect and remember. Putting everything on the plate is an awesome way to dialogue with God! The honesty and completeness in relationships brings an awareness of just how much God loves you and I.