We have something here in Colorado called the changing of the colors… it is where the trees throughout the Rocky Mountains, change colors (that may seem too obvious). I am sure they have this other places, but if you have driven through the mountains in the fall in Colorado, it is truly breath-taking! I did this a few years ago with my son on my motorcycle, and it was crazy to see how many colors intermingle: fiery red, lime green, every shade of yellow and orange… it is tremendous.
But seasons changing isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes they are, but not always. Some seasons are cold and lonely, others make us feel self conscious. Some seasons are exciting, but others are scary. Regardless of the season of life we find ourselves in, the one thing that is always consistent is that a new season is coming.
As I reflect on all the seasons I’ve encountered there is one thing that I always think of… relationships. A friend of mine, Dick Foth, talks about the years of his life as “trips around the sun.” And the most valuable thing we collect in these trips around the sun are relationships. The friends we make and the people who matter in our lives are truly the most significant things we can cultivate.
I had the rare opportunity talk to Gordon MacDonald, the then President of Denver Seminary, during my time there. He shared about the tragic time in his life over twenty years before where he succumbed to a moral failure. I’ll never forget the words he said to me, “If I had the friends in my life back then, that I do now, it never would have happened.” Those words still ring in my ears, and it is a constant reminder of the value of having friends.
Too often we relegate friendships to a luxury …we say we will do it when we have time, and then we never have time. But I wonder what would happen if we allowed relationships to be at least as important as our work. How would our lives look different if we made meaningful friendships a reality?
I truly believe that we are better together, and the more meaningful friendships we have the more we become better pastors.