We Wisemans had an adventure this weekend. A friend of mine mentioned early in the summer that she planned to ride her bike to a neighboring town for their Community Days, and she asked if I'd like to try it. I agreed, and soon my teenager expressed interest in going. So did my husband, and that meant my son was in, too. So Saturday morning, we packed the 4-year-old in the seat on my bike, packed the supplies on Jon's bike, and off we went.
We logged three and a half hours of riding, 24.1 miles total. (Of course, there was a pancake breakfast, a parade, and some pulled pork in the middle of that ride.) God blessed us with a 15 degree break in the afternoon temperatures, and a good time. I teased my friend that it was hard riding with her, because she never huffed, never seemed to be pedaling hard, never even sweated. She was patient and easy-going, a perfect 'trail boss' for us newbies.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 NLT
I'm so thankful that God gives us friends who love us, listen to us, but also challenge us. My friends constantly challenge me to step out into new territory. They stand by and encourage me when I'm ready to quit. They remind of the things I tend to forget when I'm frustrated. They don't think less of me in those moments when I'm falling well short of Christ's example.
Jesus calls us friends in John 15:13-15, and He certainly challenges me, stands by me, encourages me, reminds me when I forget, and loves me even in failure. But to help me grasp the reality of that, He brought people into my life who would model all these things. And He allows me the privilege of a relationship with them in which we can help each other out.
We need mentors who walk before us, and we should always have disciples following our footsteps, but what a great gift to have friends to walk beside us. I love all of you.