Sunday, January 15, 2012


Photo by Gibson Claire McGuire Regester used under Creative Commons license.

2012: A Year of Thanksgiving and Praise
Day 15: I'm Thankful for Friends

This is the post I should have written yesterday. But, I was having one of "those" days. So, I posted the video from TED instead.  (And no, I didn't mean to rhyme, it just turned out that way.)

We often take our friends for granted. They are there to talk to, to hang out with, to have fun with.

Our friends also fulfill very important roles in our lives at times when we need them most. Sometimes they are there to lend an ear to talk to, or a shoulder to cry on, or a swift kick in the backside when we need that too to stay on track.

Most of all, friends are there for each other. There is no selfish underlying motive. If you need something, they are there. If they need something, you are there. That's what friends do.

If it is within your power to help, you help each other.

So, today, I would like to thank my friends, and in particular, three friends who helped me get through my day yesterday.

Dennis is not only a friend, but a neighbor. Yesterday when the Geo broke down... again... he gave Nick and lift home, and then gave us both a ride into town to look for a new car. He just happens to know the manager of a car lot in town.

Now, I didn't end up getting a car yesterday. Turns out I was lacking a piece of paper according to the rookie sales person on duty. (Unfortunately, the manager was not in, so this guy was going "by the book".)

This brings me to my friend Pam. I needed to get into the office so that I could obtain the necessary document to go ahead with a car purchase, but I had forgotten my office keys at home. Pam, ever the faithful friend, called back offering to help in any way she could. (Unfortunately, we had already left town headed for home, and decided to put the car off until tomorrow, since the car lot was about to close.)

When I arrived home, I had a rather upsetting Facebook message -- actually a couple of them. What I really, really wanted to do was just crawl in bed and forget about my day. The last thing I wanted to do was post about something for which I was thankful.

This brings me to my friend Lisa. Lisa is an old school friend and current Facebook friend. She had no idea she was helping me yesterday, but she was the one who posted the TED video on gratitude. I watched the video, was stunned by its beauty, and realized that it was the perfect pinch-hitter for my post on thankfulness for the day.

I have many more friends that I count among my blessings. My friends at church are my extended family. They are rock steady, holding me up in prayer when I need it, and requesting the same from me when they can use someone standing in agreement with them.

I sometimes look out at the congregation when I'm singing in the choir and think what beautiful people they are. Faces smiling and hands raised to God, lost in praise and worship...

My coworkers are also very special to me. Each of them has their own personality and talents, and each of them brings something special to my life and my day.

I'm thankful for my friends on Facebook. Some of them I know better than others. Some I've known for years, and some of them I knew years ago and am becoming reacquainted with them, and some of them I've recently "met".

I look at the variety of people -- each of them unique -- and I think about how amazing God is. Billions of people on the world right now, and countless billions throughout history, and not two of us are the same. Even within the same family, you see huge differences between siblings.

Today, I invite you to celebrate the differences and I especially invite you to celebrate your own uniqueness. Don't try to be like someone else for anything! Be who you are. Be uniquely you. You were brought into his world to do something special. Don't hold back.

And, in being the best "you" that you can be, you will end up being the best sibling, parent, co-worker, or friend that anyone could ever hope for.

Today, I'm thankful for friends. 

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