How do you choose who to spend your life with? What common qualities do great friends have in common? What can we learn from our furry family members?
I’m talking about our best friend, the one with four legs. I’ve written and shared many stories about the people who have impacted our lives for the better. Recently, a friend lost a family member after 17 years together. Our friend has shared many stories of how her Princess helped her get through rough times, such as her husband’s long battle with cancer and death.
She shared how her friend helped her through the grieving and all the emotions of losing a spouse. How this friend helped her reconnect with her passions and love. Finally, her best friend helped give her the courage to do things she could never have imagined doing in her life. I bet we all wish we had a friend that we could count on during challenging times.
Her friend was her dog, Princess who spent 17 years by my friend’s side. How many of you can remember a furry family member who helped get you through difficult times? What can serving leaders learn from my friend’s furry supporter?
The first thing we can learn is to help our friends by being there when needed. A good friend is capable of standing by you no matter what might be going on in your life. My friend’s furry family member stayed with her through the trials and tribulations of losing a loved one to cancer. From beginning to end, Princess was there to be a constant source of humor and good feelings.
The second thing we can learn is to be willing to accept our friends and others where they are not where we want them to be. Good friends are willing to go the extra mile when you’re not moving forward. Good friends are willing to meet you where you are and help you get to where you want to be. Princess provided our mutual friend the support she needed when she needed it most. As a serving leader we often times get so caught up in trying to motivate and inspire others we fail to recognize the other person’s need and emotions. Great friends are willing to wait or go depending on our moods.
The third thing we can learn is to be a better friend and accept others as they are. How many times have good friends suggested we could be more if we were willing to try more? Princess provided my friend with unconditional love and support, no matter what was going on in her life. From helping her when her husband was ill to helping her cheer up to being the clown when the pain was too much to bear.
The fourth thing we can learn is to not accept no for an answer. Princess helped my friend by getting her to try something new. Take a walk or going on a new adventure helped to revitalize my friend when all seemed lost. How many times do we accept a friend’s inactivity? We chalk it up to something that we don’t know is going on in their lives. Furry friends not only get us up, they get us out to meet new people who turn into friends.
The fifth lesson we can learn is that we all need friends, no matter if they have two or four legs. It’s funny to me that my friend has made many of her most difficult decisions in consultation with her furry friend. I’m told that Princess was an incredible listener and very supportive once a decision was made. What else can you ask from a trusted confidant? We can learn how to be at peace just by being present with our good friends in time of need. You know the ones I mean, the friends you just can sit with for hours without saying a thing. This is the mark of a true friendship.
Finally, I was brought up to believe all God’s creatures, great and small, have a special place in heaven. So until we meet again, take time to enjoy these very special friends who not only see the best in us, but help ensure we have an incredible journey filled with love, joy and peace.
See you next Tuesday.