this week I’ve been thinking a lot about friends. It’s come up a few times when I’ve prayed and then again in church yesterday. I have over 300 of them on Facebook but dont wake up every day feeling popular! Training for ministry meant leaving a lot of lovely work friends behind and gaining a bunch of new ones, but life has become more ‘liminal’ ; sort of transitory and I know in a couple of years I’ll be making more new friends again.
Sometimes it’s hard to justify the cost of being a friend of Jesus to someone who doesn’t know him, but somehow it’s becoming something that takes my ‘all’. For someone as cynical and untrusting as me, this is particularly shocking!
The main reason is that I’ve really learned that I can meet with God anywhere, anytime and anyplace. He has no mood swings, he always keeps in touch, he loves me when I’m being ridiculous, he shows up on time, every time. He doesn’t judge me on my past success or failure but shines a light to show me who I am more clearly.
I’ve encountered him in the silence of an empty church, on my sofa at home, listening to monks chanting plainsong, at house group, at the climax of an amazing worship session amongst crowds speaking in tongues. He’s the same every time!
My constant companion Jesus like many of my loved ones has to settle sometimes with time I’ve got left rather than time set aside but he doesn’t care. When he asks me to do something I gladly do it because I’ve learned that it will be amazing… eventually, even if it seemed fairly bonkers or irrelevant at the time he asked! Like someone giving you a job you think doesn’t need doing and then finding out it was a special honour to be asked.
To get to this point in my faith journey I have a debt of gratitude to countless friends (many of them part of the 300!) who have prayed with me, told me not to worry and confirmed the words I was trying to form were the right ones. The leaders who’ve said I should try and the ones who’ve said chill out! The non-Christian friends who’ve listened and bought me wine and cooked me dinner!
i know it’s inevitable that I say this but if I can get to be part of the inner circle with god, there is nothing stopping anyone else! All you need to do is want to get to know him and ask for help finding the way – that’s what we call prayer. That’s because his inner circle is as wide as the universe with a special unique place set aside for each of us – now and always and forever. Amen