Happy Birthday!

I’m stepping away from the Trinity study tonight to do a tribute like I often do on birthdays. Also readers, I will be away on vacation tomorrow and won’t be back until Sunday evening. Will there be blogs there? I don’t know. If nothing comes up, don’t panic. I’m alright. I’m just away.

Tonight, I make a tribute to my best friend I’ve got in this world. That would be my roommate. We chose this path together to continue our studies and it’s been nearly two years and I’ve found you to be a friend through thick and thin.

I remember the time that our neighbors were giving me problems where they were parking way too close to my car just because they thought I was parking in “their spot.” I would have to get in on the passenger side just to get in, nothing easy with my back. What do I find that Saturday morning when I wake up? It’s early in the morning and although you like to sleep in, you’re outside in the parking lot taking pictures.

We’ve already been on numerous adventures such as the drive up north to meet some friends. Tomorrow, we’ll be going south to meet others. We’ve driven to the beach and we’ve been to conferences together as well as seen numerous debates.

I am constantly amazed that you put up with all my bizarre idiosyncracies yet in the end, I find you’re by my side and I really don’t believe I could do most of the things that I’m doing in this town without having a friend like you by my side. It is something that brings stability in a world that is usually experienced in chaos.

I often think of how this started because you contacted me in what was seemingly an out of the blue manner one day. I didn’t know you from Adam and now look where we’ve come to. All because of that one approach, I now find that I have a true friend. Wherever the path leads from now, I see the friendship over time growing deeper and stronger.

Aristotle spoke more of friendship than of any other virtue and what a value it was to have true friends. I believe he was right. I smiled recently when I read some of his Nicomachean ethics and how he said that friendship reaches its highest level in living together. It is then that you truly seek to bring your friend into your life as much as possible and give them the highest trust that can be given between humans aside from a marriage covenant.

Friends are different from family. We sense that we have an obligation often to love our family. Most people that we do love as family are people that we probably wouldn’t form a bond with if they weren’t family. Friendship is different. No one is forced to be a friend with another. Friendship is instead chosen.

Friendship often begins with a common bond that the two friends have in common. For us, it was interest. We both love apologetics and we both love the Final Fantasy series. ┬áIf you come in here and you see me playing the After Years, I know we can immediately have a conversation. While I don’t really understand much of what goes on in Final Fantasy XI, it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the conversations about it, and I do.

This also makes me ponder friendship in eternity. What does Heaven do with friendships? It certainly doesn’t destroy them. It instead perfects them. It makes them be what they were meant to be all along. While we do work to build each other towards sanctification, we still fall short here. I wonder what it will be like in Heaven when we dwell as perfected human beings. What will our friendship be then? It is fascinating.

I’m pondering now how you were surprised for your birthday, but you knew something was coming still. It was just where and when. It’s this knowledge that we know our friends won’t forget the important events of our lives. We know that about them. It’s a unique event as friends seek to celebrate one another.

That’s what a birthday is ultimately. It’s a chance for others to celebrate that that person really exists and for a person to marvel the gift of their own existence on their own birthday. Each person who celebrates the birthday of another is saying “I am happy that you are a part of this world.” However, we do not just mean this world but rather our world. That somehow our paths got crossed.

Tomorrow, we begin an adventure together, but as I ponder it, it is true that everyday is an adventure. Friendship is a never-ending story that continues on into eternity. Each day is just writing another chapter of that story.

I think now of something a friend told me who loves the Lord of the Rings. It is of how Frodo and Sam see the end of their journey and wonder what tales will be told about them. Frodo plays the part of one of their children and says “You left out one of the chief characters: Samwise the Brave – I want to hear more about Sam. Frodo wouldn’t have gotten far without Sam.” Sam sees him as mocking and says that he was being serious about the stories. Frodo says he was serious about his own comment as well.

This is friendship. Friends can do well on their own, but when they come together, both are for the better. There is no one first and then the other. Friends fight side by side. Happy birthday my friend, and thank you for being by my side.

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