Okay, I'm confessing that my quiet time has been irregular for several weeks....mostly due to a crazy schedule. However, I've learned the hard way over the years the importance of spending daily time with God. I am frustrated that I have let the number one very best part of my day slack off.
But you gotta love God. Even though I am not spending near enough time in his Word, he's still speaking to me. He uses my daily life in very strange and mysterious ways. For example, this week my students read, "The Kite". It's a Frog and Toad story. Brief summary for those who do not know the story.
Frog and Toad - best friends....going to fly a kite. Frog is string holder, Toad is kite flyer. No luck getting kite to fly. Robins in a nearby bush laugh and tell Toad to give up....throw the kite away....it's a piece of junk....don't bother.....Toad believes them and repeats their reasoning to Frog. Frog says....lets try one more time and do it this way instead. Finally the kite is soaring through the air. Why? Because Frog was a friend that refused to let Toad believe the negative lies the Robins were telling him.
I was reading this with my third reading group of the day when God said, "Pay attention. Check this out."
Friends fall into two categories...those that push you onward. They encourage you. They refuse to allow you to wallow in self-pity and self-doubt. Then there are the friends that seem to feed off misery and let you live an ordinary life.....they question your dreams and desires and hopes.
I have a friend who talks about "balcony friends." The term originated in a Bible Study, but we have used the label for our here and now friends as well. It originates from Hebrews 11 and 12. Hebrews 11 is a listing of great, famous people from the Bible who lived an incredible life of faith. But Hebrews 12:1-2 are the verses that blow me away, "Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Did you catch that? All the famous people from chapter 11 are witnessing our lives and are cheering us on to the finish line....think spectators at a sporting event. Or like fans cheering from a balcony. Thus the term, "balcony friends."
I love Balcony Friends. Balcony Friends are the ones that know your weaknesses and your struggles and still love you and cheer for you. They help you find a way to focus on the finish and ignore the negative voices that would keep you from being what God has created you to be.
I am so blessed with lots of Balcony friends. I have so many amazing friends that cheer me on. Thank you so very much. For a woman who struggles hard with the negative voices in my head, having friends who believe in me is an incredible encouragement. Love you all.