I don't know what started me thinking about it. Maybe it was the fun chat with a friend earlier that day. Maybe it was the touching e-mail of forgiveness I received from another friend. Maybe it was the bike ride I went on with a friend. Maybe it was a friend's drawing she made of me. Maybe it was just the two hour drive that gave me plenty of time to think about all my friends. Whatever it was, I began to think about how blessed I am to have so many wonderful friends!
It's not always been that way; I used to be very shy. Mom keeps telling me of a time when I'd sit in the shopping cart and every time someone would look at me, I'd turn to mom and say, "Mommy! She looked at me, she likes me!" When in my younger years, I often spent my time trying to be noticed and liked by other people, and not having that many close friends. As time went on, I began to realize how selfish my outlook on friends really was. The Lord began showing me that it's not what I can get out of others, but what I can give them that counts. Instead of waiting for people to notice me, I began reaching out to "strangers" (friends without a name, as one person put it) first. I soon began to realize what friends can offer; next to family, Christian friends are one of the biggest blessings I can think of!
I once read a really good quote by A. W. Tozer. "Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same tuning fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are not of one accord because they have been tuned to one another. Instead, they are in perfect harmony because they have all been brought to the same exact standard.
"In the same way, one hundred Christians who are each "tuning" their lives to Christ will find their hearts united in Him. They are much closer than they could possibly be if they turned their eyes toward each other to seek closer fellowship."
I've found that to be absolutely true! I've often wondered what kind of legacy I'd leave behind if I were to die right now... How would people remember me? It's really something to think about! For me personally, I'd like to be remembered as a Christian - that's all. As Americans, we talk like Americans, we act like Americans, we think like Americans; we are proud of our heritage! As a Christian, I want to talk like Christ, act like Christ, think like Christ would think; and be proud of my heritage! And I believe that all of my friends have the same desires. It is only through that connecting link that we are able to have such good friendships. While sharing with each other, we each gain a blessing and uplift and encourage one another as we press ever upward.
So I want to thank every one of you, my friends, who have had an impact on my life! Through you, I have gotten a better picture of Christ's character lived out in the lives of His people. Thank you for being my friends!