Cal Lord: Maintain relationship with God as you would a friendship
We were the Three Musketeers. Mike, Leon and I did everything together. It began at Ben & Leo’s Supermarket, when Leon and I were hired as stockboys in the summer of 1974. It wasn’t long after that we included Mike in our circle. Our friendship blossomed out of the common interests we shared as teenagers growing up in a small town.
The three of us loved sports, were involved in student government, played in the band, sang in the chorus and had a number of classes together. We spent hours at play rehearsal. We even went to each other’s church youth groups. On the days when we didn’t have an organized activity at school, we made up a reason to hang out. We played games, talked about girls and dreamed dreams about where life was going to take us. It was great to have friends like that.
After high school, our lives took us in different directions for a few years. Yet in the fall of 1980 we were reunited at UConn. Many nights we got together to study or argue about sports. We spent time talking about our hopes for the future. Leon wanted to become a lawyer. Mike dreamed of opening up his own business. I spoke about my calling to the ministry.
On one of those nights we were together, Mike and Leon did something that set my future into motion. They grabbed the phone and dialed Lori’s number and stuck it in my hand before I could object. I asked her out on a date, and the rest is history. A few years later, I got to return the favor by officiating at Mike and Kim’s wedding. Leon was the best man for the both of us. Over the years, they have continued to bless me. There is nothing like a friend.
I thought about Mike and Leon the other night. I was struggling with something and needed to talk to someone. I hadn’t talked to either of them in a while. My mind drifted back to those late-night discussions we used to have. I missed those days. The truth is that our friendships meet a very important spiritual need. We are wired to connect to God and one another.
The problem is that many of us have not spent the time cultivating our relationship with God. My friendship with Mike and Leon was built over time through the many hours we spent together. God wants to have that kind of deep and abiding friendship with each of us. The only way we can make it happen is to spend time with him.
Begin by finding a quiet place. Open up your heart to him. Start reading the scriptures. Meditate on the Psalms. Read through the gospels. Share your hopes, your dreams, your fears with God, and then begin to listen for his response. It may come through a stranger, through a devotional reading or through a serendipitous event in your life. Rest assured it will come. After a while, you will realize how much God cares for you and you will discover God is a friend like no other you will ever have.
God bless. See you in church.
The Rev. Cal Lord is a Norwich resident who serves as pastor at Central Baptist Church of Westerly. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.