“Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.” ~ Jim Morrison
There is an old spiritual titled “What a friend we have in Jesus” and it tells of a friend who loves us so much that He shoulders all our burdens, all our pains, all our sorrows, and takes them upon Himself so that we could be free. Ultimately, the song reminds us that nothing but peace and joy awaits us in the world to come.
Jesus is a true friend, in every sense of the word, and in every part of the definition enumerated above. Jesus grants us total freedom to be ourselves. He gives us so much freedom, in fact, that we can choose everything, even Him. Jesus desires us. He desires us greatly. He desires us to return home to Him at the end of our sojourn on earth. However, He has given us free will.
That gift comes with a certain cost. God will never force us to love Him. God will never force us to choose Him. That choice is our own. God knows our thoughts. He knows our hopes. He knows our fears. He invites us to embrace Him and hold on tight so that He can help us through the dark moments of our lives as well as celebrate the wondrous moments of our lives.
Some people, though, would rather choose another. They would rather choose something other than God as the most important thing or person in their life. God, being who He is, allows us the latitude of choice.
For our part, we often do not act as true friend to God. We do not allow Him to be who He is. We insist that He be a certain type of person, that He act a certain kind of way, that He grant certain requests. There are times that we treat God more like a genie than God. That is not the reflection of being a true friend on our part.
As we continue our Lenten journey, it might help us if we ask ourselves, What is our relationship with God all about?
FAITH ACTION: Reflect upon your relationship with God. Do you allow Him to be who He truly is or do you expect Him to be someone you want Him to be?