Warning: you’re about to read what might seem to some as bragging. Really, it’s just gratitude that I didn’t know how to say any other way.
I made a list of my friends the other day just to take stock and because it helps me to see things on paper. It’s kind of like totaling up a balance sheet, it lets you know your net worth. I won’t name the friends on the list but I will list their occupations or rather their vocations. Here they are.
Farmer, writer,construction contractor, musician, fishing guide, dairyman, agronomist, pastor, media businessman, counselor, money manager, labor contractor, refinery heavy equipment contractor, landscaper, rancher, environmental contractor, worship leader, doctor, international school principle, water purification business, cattleman, fruit packer, mortuary attendant, and teacher. They are from California, Alaska, Washington, South Africa, Canada, Singapore, Florida, Montana, Mexico, Wisconsin, and Texas,
One of the best compliments I have ever received came from my friend Steve (the Dairyman/Agronomist) following a New Years eve party at our home. He said “I don’t know if I have ever been around such a diverse group of people in my life. ” When I thought about it …..that comment made me real happy because I had never really thought of it that way before. They were just people my wife and I love, whom we had become friends with. They weren’t pigeoned holed by what they did, or where they were from,…but by who they were,..and they were just that, our friends. their diversity revealed something about us, and I liked it, it made me proud, and am grateful for everyone of them. They draw out our greatness, and we come alive when we’re around them. They do it with more than just words but with their actions, their lives. If we are successful it’s because of them. If one of us hurt, we hurt together.
Come to think of it, Jesus had a pretty diverse group of friends himself. He is the model for purity and the man who changed the world not just through some phenomenal preaching but through relationship.
I have had people tell me from time to time “I want your friends!” Well…they don’t just hand them out down at Safeway. They can’t be bought. They don’t just happen. They are made, purposefully. There is a line in a country song Live Like You Were Dying that says “I became a friend I would like to have” that about sums it all up right there. But when it comes down to it, I don’t just have the best friendships on the globe because I am a great guy. I have them because I have to have them. If I don’t, I am toast. There is no pride here, I need them, they bring me life, so I work hard to maintain them. Forgiveness doesn’t come easy to me, but it’s better than the alternative thats’ for sure. I don’t get bummed long when one of them moves, it just make room for more and I just look at it like…ok, cool, now we have another place to visit with free food. One of the coolest things about good friends is that you get all their friends for free, I love that. On the Forbes Richest Friendship List I am in the top 10 for sure.