It is good to travel with friends. No matter what happens, you know they have your back. Dark alleyways, dodgy restaurants, and unfamiliar towns are easier when you are with them. Yesterday as travel friends headed to the hotel for a well-deserved break, I found myself wandering the streets of Phnom Penh. The shadows began to lengthen. When I rejoined them, it was dark. The relative feeling of safety had left with the day's light. It was a surreal awareness of being alone and a long ways from home.
I am reminded of how important it is to always have friends with you along the road. I realize that in our virtual worlds, it is often more convenient to travel alone. It takes work to maintain friendships and nurture relationships. It takes time as well. Often we find ourselves caught in the busyness of the moment. I find myself letting relationships slips, starting with those closest to my heart.
I am not the first to experience this awareness and the benefits that come along with it. Saul was cornered, his life at risk. In that moment, friends came to his aid. “One night the disciples engineered his escape by lowering him over the wall in a basket.” (Acts 9.25) Metaphorically, I need far more baskets than I am willing to admit! I like many others often fail, needing the help of others to stand and start fresh again.
Today the sun has returned. Phnom Penh has returned to its normal chaos bathed is dust, heat, and humidity. I am eager to go out, with the company and protection of those I trust. Wherever this note finds you, be careful! The world is a very dangerous place. You need the protection, counsel, and wisdom that are only found in friendship. The circle starts with God and the Spirit. It continues with those willing to walk with us. It is not a sign of weakness to admit one's need to be rescued. In fact, it is a sign of wisdom. May you experience the presence of your guardians.
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