Sunday, September 04, 2011

A New Old Friend

I shared this on our first Wednesday night two weeks ago with about 60 college students. It is written in a way that lends itself to speaking rather than reading.

I was planning on doing this nice little testimony that is somewhat familiar, but something happened a couple of weeks ago that I have to tell you about! It kindof fits with what we are going to talk about tonight, so that is why I’m doing that instead.

Okay, so … do you have one of those friends that impacts you so much that just thinking about that person brings a smile to your face? Just picturing them in your head and…knowing who they are…they just encourage you. Many people (even many of you) really do have that affect on me, but there are two close friends of mine, David and Doug, who just the thought of them encourages me. And distance or time has no effect on that feeling. No matter how long it is between the times we talk or see each other, it is as if we just pick right back up where we left off. I love it and hope to never lose that kind of relationship that I have with these guys! In fact, I think we can only handle two or three of these kinds of relationships during our lifetime. Some people could have more, but even one of these is enough!

Here is why I say that…I ran into this guy again a couple of weeks ago that may be another one of these kind of friends for me. It is sometimes hard to know right away, but you never know. You just take it as it comes. I really hope that it happens though…

I had met him a long time ago. I actually grew up with him in Carrollton, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. My parent’s still live in the same house where I grew up, so there were a few of us who went to the same elementary school, same Junior High, and same High School. He was in that group, so that is why I’ve known him a long time. We have this unique connection (that we’ve known each other so long), even though we’ve had a kindof superficial relationship.

He was one of those “popular ones” in school (all the way through High School too!). And since I was more of a “nerd” than anything else we just ran in different circles. Every now and then I’d notice him in one of my classes, but we rarely talked or interacted. I can say, though, that…I do remember he was easy to talk to back then. I always felt like he had that ability … you know those people? … they have a unique ability to somehow relate to all the different cliques in school. It was weird, but I always wished I could do that like him.

[I still remember thinking in the middle of Junior High, “What happened between Elementary School and Junior High?” I wondered why so many kids that I regularly played with in Elementary School no longer talked to me in Junior High. It was as if we never knew each other!]

Anyway, this guy somehow connected to all those different groups of people. It was probably because I was jealous of him that he stuck out to me. So, a couple of weeks ago I was in Houston just sitting down reading something to pass the time. I happen to look up…and I saw him coming my way. I was like, “Do I know this guy?” At first, I was trying to remember where I knew him from…because he looked very familiar. [I’ve lived in so many different places that it’s sometimes hard for me to keep all the people straight.] … Then I was like “dude…that's him!”

So, I stood up and was like, “Hey!” I had no idea if he would even remember me, but he was like, “Dude! What’s up, Chris Blair! It’s good to see you! How are ya!?” I was really taken back that he knew my name. He just started asking me to update him on things. We talked for a good while. I was overwhelmed with how easy he made it to catch up. I was also amazed at how mature he was.

Since I’m such a different person than I was in High School, I sometimes assume that people from back then would be shocked to know that I am a campus minister. But he was actually really encouraged to hear that and he talked about his relationship with God and how God has been working in his life in powerful ways! It’s so cool! You can really tell when someone is really connected to God…they are soaking up God’s word…they pray all the time, and they are just connected!

Normally in those kind of conversations, if I’m a little honest, I typically feel like I’m the one who has something to teach or offer someone else. But, with this guy, I actually started feeling like I had more to learn about how God had been working in his life than how God has been working in my life. It was an odd feeling! But…I felt good about it. He made me feel good about it!

Then…this is where it took an even more odd turn for me...he told me that he was thinking about moving to Huntsville! It is hard to describe the excitement I had after our conversation! Seriously…if he moves to Huntsville…I’m going to invite him to come around to hang out. You’ve GOT to meet this guy! He’s self-employed…well kindof (I can explain that later)…but he has a lot of time to spend with people, so that’s what he does. He spends tons of time with others. He told me…wherever he ends up…that he’d be more than happy to come speak to us and about all the ways God has worked in his life! And so, I’m really excited about that!

But…even more than just speaking to us, he said he really would like to spend serious time getting to know everyone here personally. This is what blows my mind! He told me that it really bothers him to just show up at some event, tell about God, and then everyone leaves to go their own way. He told me that he really wants to show others how God really works so that they can live the way that God made them to live. And, listen up…this guy KNOWS how God works…because he lives life to the fullest!

I KNOW this guy will change your whole life. Just listening to his stories, watching how alive he is for God, receiving a new perspective on life from him, and responding to his invitation EVERY DAY to SPEND TIME WITH HIM and to TELL OTHERS about his way of living is so…what I want to do...for the rest of my life! That is how much this guy has impacted me recently. I love spending time with my rediscovered new old friend who’s always been there…Jesus.

He wants to move in. He wants to show me everything about how God works so that I can live the way God made me to live. What is cool is that … He wants to move in with you too. He wants to show you the way God works so that you can live the way God made you to live!

I’ve heard the call, “Come and follow me!” Our invitation with the Kats for Christ is to come and experience the life that God desires to have you live. We are so about Jesus, because he is the only one who will transform you to live as he lived … completely alive!