A very heartfelt thank you to Rhea Beaudry for her messages here while I recovered from spinal surgery. True friendship develops over time, and I feel so blessed to have found one in Rhea as well as so many others who also share common spiritual love of the Lord. Let’s spend a little time together on this so special topic.
Following God, described in the Bible as love, we too must become love. The Bible talks about true friendship, in Proverbs 17:17 where it says, “A friend loves at all times.” This is Rhea.
But, what about when a friend isn’t very loving to you? It not easy to be a friend at that time. Or, when someone you’ve never seen before, a stranger, comes up to you, do you automatically love that person? Or do you say inside of yourself, ‘I don’t want to make eye contact. I’m just going to pass him by. I’m feeling a great deal of apprehension inside of me.”
Everyone reading this has felt the same thing sometimes, and some places. But, we have to overcome it.
Remember as a child you were told never to talk to strangers, and that may have had its place back then. But, now, as an adult, you have a mission that Jesus Christ gave you. That mission is to be a friend and love at all times.
Here is a good example: when Judas came in to betray Jesus, what did Jesus say? Did Jesus look him in the eye and ask how he could do it? No. Jesus just said, “Welcome, friend.”
Maybe we could not act loving, to the extent that Jesus did in that example, but as followers of Him, following Him we must at least try.
A man was walking along in the woods when he looked down and saw deer tracks. Seeing the deer tracks he decided to follow them to see what would happen. All of sudden he looked up and saw a herd of deer right in front of him. He was so startled he froze in his tracks. He said, “My eyes met their eyes and they were frozen too. We stood there for nearly a minute just staring at each other.”
Then he said, “Do you know that a deer’s first line of defense is freezing? They freeze in their tracks and blend into their surroundings so they can’t be seen.”
That is often our first line of defense too. We freeze in that moment of turmoil too. If we are going to freeze, we should use that time spiritually. We should go to God in prayer, to rediscover why we are here, to know we are not alone, to know we are empowered to do what we need to do.
But, so often we freeze. We freeze by not talking to the person. We freeze not by grounding ourselves in God, but by grounding ourselves in fear. In that moment, we miss out on one of the greatest opportunities.
I wonder what would happen in our lives if we would speak to that person, if we would stop our fear and have faith in God. You know, it would be quite different. You’d make eye contact, smile; and following Jesus, help to end loneliness.
We are often spending our lives relating to machines more that we are to humans. We relate to the television set, and the computer; but we must establish contact with other humans that we don’t know yet. A relationship is a “relating—ship.”
If we want our lives to be richer, fuller and happier, there is an answer.
If we want our spiritual relationships, our prayer groups, businesses to be more successful, there is an answer. The answer is networking; widening the circle of those we know, and associate with. We tend to keep a closed circle of people we know. Even in our Spiritual Family Prayer Group, we tend to hold back a bit. http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com/?flash. We do this because we feel it is safer that way. But it’s time to stretch beyond our self-made perimeters.
The small human ways that no longer serve us will be released and disappear, and the Christ ways rise up, then we become a light that shines for all. When we are a light that shines for all, there is a difference. We are a friendship lighthouse. What does that mean in Christianity? It means we are going to shine on everybody we meet–not just our family and friends and business associates. We are going to be a light and therefore will brighten everyone’s path of life.
When you walk into a room, your God-given Christ charisma is going to be so genuinely warm, and caring that everybody is going to turn around and look at you. You are here on a mission for God. You have a purpose, in becoming that, you have to become larger than you now are. What a spiritual joy that can be!
In the book, “Silences“, the author says, “If the mind is disciplined, the heart turns quickly from fear, to love.” The next time you are walking down the street and you realize that someone is coming towards you, you let go of any tension that forms inside of you and you know: I am a child of God and this person I am walking towards is a new friend of mine. I choose love. I am going to reach outside of the limitations of myself.
The Bible says that perfect love casts out fear. Perfect love also casts out chaos.
There is a book called, “Child of Fortune”, and it says, “All too many adolescents in all too many cultures have never passed through chaos at all.” Chaos is not necessarily bad. BUT—it can be when you get that feeling of tension inside of you by accepting the wrong thing–fear.”
It goes on to say,
“People were born. They were cultured. They were schooled. And they took up their stations in life. They passed through an ill-defined period of mid-life anguish, resigned themselves to old age and died without ever walking the yellow brick road; without ever understanding what it was they missed in their lives.”
We have all seen the movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” Are we walking the yellow brick road?
The bottom line of the movie the Wizard of Oz, is about discovering, and rediscovering love. The answers to all of our prayers are not in some distant place, but rather with us ALL the time, if we use the God-given powers that we already have.
What you really want, what I really want, what we ALL really want—we want more love, and friendship in our lives. We want to feel more of God’s love. We are missing a lot of life if we don’t feel the love from other people. They are so special; especially the people we haven’t met or haven’t taken the time to meet.
All spiritual growth depends on choice. The most important choice we will ever make is to love rather than to have fear. Ask for God’s help and it will be given.
If we take time to be friends to more people, we are not going to lose, but gain.
As we walk down life’s path, I tell you, as you give away your love, and friendship, it is the one thing you will never lose. You will have a new inner-connectedness with everyone. You are no longer going to be walking alone. You’re going to have God as your foundation, and people by your side.
In the fall, looking up, we may see geese flying.
They fly in a ‘V’ formation. Let me tell you the whole story of the geese.
“Flying along in a “V’ formation, it has been learned that as each goose flaps its’ wings, it creates an uplift for the bird that immediately follows. By flying in a “V’ formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on his or her own. Imagine that!
Basic Truth #1 People who share a common friendship can get where they are
going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the support of one another.
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone, and it quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
Basic Truth #2: If we have as much sense as a goose, we’re going to accept
friends (new and old).
When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back in the “V’ and another goose flies point. The good of the flock is the primary importance.
Basic Truth #3: Everyone benefits as a result. For the good of humanity,
sometimes you are the leader, and sometimes you are the follower.
The geese all honk except the lead goose. The geese honk from behind to encourage those in front to keep on going. It is like saying positive affirmations to uplift and encourage others.
Basic Truth #4: We need to encourage our friends. At the same time, we have to be careful we are always positive and uplifting when we honk from behind.
Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded by a gunshot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with their member goose until it is able to fly or until it is dead. Then they launch out on their own or with another formation that flies by.
Basic Truth #5: If we have the sense of a goose, united we stand and divided we fall. We make the choice this moment to spiritually stand by each other in love.
You are here on this earth for a wider purpose than your present friends and family. You are here, following God, for ALL of humanity. Truly, each of us is on this chosen spiritual path. We are kind and loving wherever we find ourselves. We are spiritually rising at that moment when we turn to God and say, “Okay, God, I’m willing.”
The book “Creative Transformation” says: “No matter how much others love us we only receive the love that we give. We are benefited far more by the love that we give than the love bestowed upon us.” This is what Jesus meant when He repeatedly said that the only commandment was to love one another.
John Cage says, “Nothing was lost when everything was given away.” This isn’t talking about your possessions. It’s not telling you to go and sell your home and your car. It’s saying that that in the moment, when you meet a stranger or when you are meeting someone who is lonely and depressed, because for years they have not received a human touch, give everything inside of yourself to them.
It is sad, but it’s a common occurrence in churches when they are greeting people and sometimes give a hug, this may be the first hug they’ve had in a long time. Let’s remember what we learned as children. We need to touch more, smile more, have eye contact more and be good to each other. As Jesus said we need to become like little children.
We criticize too often, and we do not uplift enough. We need to constantly look for the good in others, mention that good, and then help bring it out. We need to tell others how special they are in that particular way. It will change a life, and the first life that it will change is yours. It will create a wonderful power in both of you that will change your individual worlds.
I want to share a story from Rev. Shay St. John .
“Which tree is strongest: A Weeping Willow, a Georgia Pine, or a Redwood?
Imagine you have these three trees sitting alone in a meadow. The wind is blowing fiercely, bending the trees to the ground. The Weeping Willow will fail first because it has shallow roots and it makes the decision to grow alone.
How deep are your roots? Do you have roots that go deep into God?
If you’re going to stand alone, I pray you do. That will keep you upright.
The Georgia Pine is a strong tree. It has tap roots that grow deep within the earth. It can stand alone. It can survive the wind. If you have deep roots that go into God, you will survive any wind that comes into your life when you’re alone.
Let me tell you now about the Redwood. You’ve seen the Giant Redwood trees that are so big you can’t put your arms around them. They seem to grow to the stars. But, if we would take a shovel and dig a little beneath the redwood, we would find they have very shallow roots.
How can this be that these mammoth trees have such shallow roots? It is possible because the roots intertwine with each other. They hold hands. They keep each other up. It is because of this reliance on each other that they will be there when your children’s children go to look upon the Redwoods.”
We can’t allow one person to fall from the path because they haven’t received our hand. We have to give our hand to them and hold them up. When they’re down, our hand is here to hold them up. When we need a loving hand to help us, it is alright to ask for help. It is often a human experience for us to go through different trials, and we will remain standing if we are spiritually holding hands with many.
If we are willing to hold out our hand, there is going to be someone who is on a high mountain that can pull us up. We must be willing to accept friendship, as well as give friendship. Life is too short to be small. And so it is in our circle of friends.
Make a spiritual effort to add at least one friend to your life every week for the next four.. If you keep this in mind, and follow-through in action, this will be a very attainable goal. It will bless your life profoundly with new friends, as well as blessing new people with your presence in their life. Remember they are praying for your friendship too.
We can be Redwoods.