There are many different kinds of friends along life's way. For example, there are the people who had a great impact on you at one point in your life who you will always consider to be close even if you haven't spoken to them much since. Maybe a teacher or pastor or just someone who came into your life at just the right moment, and influenced the direction you would take, perhaps never to be seen again. I have only two people like this in my life, one is Kevin Conner who was my youth pastor and changed my life by his godly example. The other was Bruce Colbert, a Bible teacher who challenged a "know it all" teen to think about what I really believed and why. There are also a lot of the opposite type of people, those who are a dime a dozen who don't really ever get to know you, who pretty much go on life's way and never think twice about what influence they could have been had they taken your friendship more seriously.
But there are also the friends who really know the real you. These are the people who feel they can ask you anything about your life and you feel free to answer truthfully and honestly. These are the people who no matter how far away you live, or how much time passes between the times you talk, you always feel like you can automatically pick up right where you left off and never miss a beat. These friends are rare for the most part, but they are true friends.
I went to visit one of my true friends this past weekend. Erica and I travelled to Pennsylvania to see Kurt for his surprise 30th birthday party. And while I would like to think that my presence at his party was a 'gift' to him, I know the reverse was probably more true. He is a godly guy who I really respect. He is truly devoted to God and it is always encouraging and challenging when we get together and talk. Unlike a lot of Christian 'friendships' that I have with people, that only scratch the surface of what is really going on in life, Kurt usually knows what to say and how to say it that gets me thinking or that helps me on the way. He also helped me with my sermon prep for Wednesday!
So here's to Kurt! I hope you had a happy birthday and that you realize what a great person and friend you are. I'll be praying for you and the new baby on the way!