Monday, October 24, 2016

Walking Through Life Together

Submitted by Jim Garner
One of Weatherford’s elementary schools is right next to my subdivision. With it being so close it gives kids an opportunity to walk or ride their bikes down sidewalks and into the safety of the school complex. However, I’m sure it still makes for some nervous moms and dads who know their children are trying to get to school at a hectic time when parents are dropping off their children for school and others are headed to work.

One thing I’ve noticed as a result of my daily “go to work” ritual is that there are two boys that walk to school together. I figure they are brothers since they look so much alike, maybe ages six and eight, and hold hands as they walk.  As I’ve observed them I have noticed a few things about them:

·      They hold hands like they actually care for each other (not a given with brothers)
·      There is a protective element to the boys’ relationship (I think the parents threatened the older one to not let the younger one run off)
·      It seems like they are in their own little world not bothered by cultural stereotypes, nor bothered by people driving hastily by as they laugh and chat it up

It’s a fun and beautiful picture to observe of their child-like innocence and brotherhood.

I was an only child so I never had the privilege to have a brother or a sister. In spite of what some people tell me, I think it would have been great. I always hoped and dreamed that I would travel the world and run into a long-lost twin, but that never happened. I also hoped that my mom would have another baby but once again at her age…that definitely wasn’t happening. I realized something important about the close sibling relationships of my friends that had brothers and sisters that help me come to terms with this. I needed to get over it because there was nothing I could do about it and it probably wasn’t changing.

As I grew up I began to understand the value in relationships, teammates, and brotherhood with my closest friends at school and youth group. I realized these closest of friends were more than just friends. Some of them would actually become like brothers and sisters to me. They would be with me through dark times of loss or other tragedies, “have my back” no matter what I faced, and were willing to show up when I needed them most whether I lived close by or far away. I could count on them because we had a special bond as “brothers in Christ”. We really were “brothers” and I’m grateful we had each other to walk through life together.

The Bible tells us the following in the Old Testament book of wisdom (Proverbs):
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24, ESV

I had lots of people in my life that were friends and good role models. But I’ve always been grateful for those few who filled the gap as my brothers. I’ve been blessed to have them in my weddings, at the other end of a needed phone call, or a shoulder to lean on when I faced tragedy at the loss of a loved one. It hasn’t mattered if we were living in the same town or a thousand miles away; I know they would be and will be there.

Think of your life journey now and reflect on some of these questions:
·      Who have been these closest “brothers” or “sisters” in your life?
·      What are things they have done to be there for you and what have you done for them?

·      Have you told them lately how you feel about them and remind them of their impact in your life’s journey?

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