We have some really good friends. These are the friends that make it easy to hang out and enjoy each other's company. Friends that are not just like us...far from it!
The longer we tread on this side of the dirt, the more we realize that the good life is not about setting up for our comforts but for maximizing the experience while here.
We've had friends in the past who were "pad answer" people like us, towing the old fundamental and legalistic line. Friends like that make life seem easy, always saying the "right" things and doing the "right" things...in public anyway. (Legalism is a wall to hide the real you so you don't have to deal with real heart issues like marital relationships, pornography, ethics, etc!)
Through the years as God has moved us to live in His freedom, it's always funny when you try and have conversations with the old friends that seem to look at you like you now have a hole right in the center of your head. It was frustrating at first, dealing with the non-understanding looks and comments. Over time, you begin to realize that the ones who never move beyond legalism to walk in freedom feel threatened. There is a security when we can wrap our minds around a set of rules. There is uncertainty when we really have to place our faith daily in the person of Jesus. Yet the great paradox is that it turns out quite the opposite!
For Jesus calls us to a life of adventure and freedom! No more of that life of unfolding the list of rules each day and checking things off! Now there is the moment by moment communication with God that involves listening for His voice and calling on Him! And falling more in love with Jesus!
So, our friends look different today than they did a few years ago. Some have taken the journey with us and others still shake their heads with a tsk-tsk when we happen to meet them in the mall. Our friends today stretch us, challenge us, and encourage us; friends that live here, live in other states, friends that we have met through social networking and other churches.
What does your circle of friends look like? Good friends are truly a gift from God in this journey of the Good Life!