09 June 2009

Thank You for Being a Friend

When I was in Jr High and High School I belonged to a small, close knit religious group. In my mind we were the only ones who "got it." Some may have called us "Jesus Freaks" and I would have been satisfied with that moniker. In my way way of thinking, Jesus was coming back to rule the earth and this would occur before I graduated high school. Imagine my surprise when I awoke the day after my graduation to find everything essentially the same as the night before.

But things were not the same anymore. In fact, everything was different. For now I had only a few months left to decide what next step to take. As it turned out, I wound up at Belhaven College a few months later. That broadened my world considerably. There I found people who appeared to be faithful Christians but they did belong to my little group. They even called themselves by a strange name, "Presbyterians."

I thought of that when I read Psalm 12 this morning, particularly the first verse, which reads: "Help, O LORD, for there is no longer anyone who is godly; the faithful have disappeared from humankind." I felt that to be true during my college years. I decided to stop trying to "be god" and concentrate on being a human being and "if God is God then let God keep up with me" because I'm worn out of trying to keep up with God.

Ever since then I have found God to be faithful. Wherever I wander and wherever I roam God keeps watch over me as a parent over a small child. God never lets me go. This is the Biblical narrative in a nutshell. In the Old Testament, God chooses a people called Israel who are prone to wander but God remains faithful to the covenant. In the New Testament, God calls all people into covenant in the form of the church but the church is prone to petty wrangling and infighting. Yet, God remains faithful, gently but firmly staying involved and leading us on. Thanks be to God for God's faithfulness in the midst of our wanderings. Like a mother who loves her only son, so we never go unnoticed or unaccounted for in God's economy.

If you are reading this post then you have played or are playing some part in the unfolding drama of my life, and for that I want to say thank you. This song is for you. "Thank You for Being a Friend" by Andrew Gold.

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