Posted by: Jackie | June 9, 2008

Trail Buddies

I’m a firm believer that life is a journey we take. Even the Bible says God will guide our paths, so it must be true. And just as our roads take us into high and low places, I believe sometimes we travel alone, and other times we are gifted with companions.

Sometimes, you have companions that you wish would stay on their side of the track. They’re annoying, rude and often even smell. Hate to say it, but it’s true.

Other times, your companion is so right, their steps are in sync with yours, they laugh at all your stupid jokes and cry over your sad stories. And you do the same for them. These companions make the hard walk completely worth every shoe wearing step.

More often than not, these companions are the ones who only walk with you for short spurts, then they must head along another road. The cool thing is that, sometimes, they come back.

Have you ever had such friends? Those ones that come and go in your life?

I’ve had a few. And not all were the in-sync types, either. Yet, when you least expect it, there they are. An anonymous phone call at some strange hour. Or perhaps passing by in the last place you’d expect to see them.

Just a couple of years ago, I re-met a friend who used to work in a daycare with me when my daughter was merely a toddler. She had no kids at the time. When we ran into each other in the hall of a school I was working at, I found out she had two kids attending there. The following year, I ended up with her special needs son in my class where I worked as an aide. I took a liking to this kid, who’s simply a delightful character. But I feel that because of our history, I have a tendency to have a little more patience with him, a little more desire to help him understand difficult lessons.

Suppose God had planned that all along?

Just yesterday, I got a call from another friend that, in all honesty, I thought was dead. She’s had a difficult life, and when she lost contact a few years ago, I thought life had finally gotten the better of her. So imagine my surprise when I listened to her message on my phone. I only heard half of it, because I was shouting to everyone who’d listen that she was still alive. I was so happy to know that.

Anyone who knows me, also knows I’m a big Lord of the Rings fan. I love fantasy because of the eternal truths these stories tell. (But that’s another article).

Anyway, LOTR, Samwise is a Frodo’s best friend. Gandalf tells Sam not to leave Frodo, no matter what. And Sam stays good on his vow all through the books. Frodo tries to leave him. But Sam won’t have it. I love the climatic scene in the last movie where Frodo has gone as far as he possibly can. Golum is still trying to get that ring. Sam finally looks at his beaten friend who’s not always been such a great companion, and tells him, “Maybe I can’t carry your burden for you. But I can carry you.” And he does, throwing him over his shoulder and going the rest of the way for them both.

I want to be that kind of friend.

And hey, despite all Sam went though, Frodo still didn’t throw the ring into the lava. That’s the way it is, people. Sometimes, God just wants us to take them as far as possible, then He’ll do the rest, one way or another.

We need to ask for the wisdom to know when it’s time to carry, and time to let go.

God will let us know. I believe that.



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