Keep company with the wise and you will become wise. If you make friends with stupid people, you will be ruined. Proverbs 13:20 (GNT)
Is it just me, or are people much grumpier than years ago? As I stood in line at Target last week, I watched some young mother go ballistic with the woman in khakis. I could tell the sweet clerk wanted to scold her like a toddler, but she just stood there and gently smiled. I personally would have been tempted to do an eye roll and walk away if I were in her shoes. I really have an understanding heart, and I remember what it was like to be a young mom—it was hectic pushing the red cart with my son and his twin sisters just 18 months younger—but I was never that crabby.
Then there was the time that my husband and I were out on a romantic date-night and we sat in shock as the waiter rudely did an about-face after we nicely asked him for extra napkins. I wanted to snap back at him and say, “Really? Did you have to roll your eyes and stomp like a two-year-old over a pile of napkins?” But instead, I offered grace, mercy, and manners.
I have to wonder, did these poor souls wake up that morning, grumbling about the day before it even began? Did something happen to them that made them want to crawl out on a ledge and scream? Do they have positive people in their life to lift them up and help them stay on course?
We all go through rough patches, myself included. When I veer off the road, I’m thankful for friends and family who steer me back in the right lane. I would have crashed and burned a long time ago without positive people surrounding me. If I have a rotten attitude or feel like I’ve failed in some way, they encourage me. When I focus on my shortcomings, they lift me up. Our friends can have a profound influence on us, often in very subtle ways. True friends guide you back to your lane so you stay on course, and joyfully ride with you as you draw closer to God.
When you find yourself having one of those days, it’s important to stop and pause instead of drive off the road. Focus on what you need to do in order to thrive in the situation. Ask God what He might be teaching you or asking you to do, and then commit to it—whatever your circumstance. When you hear from Him, have an immediate agenda: Obedience. As I have observed on my own journey, obedience always brings a breakthrough.
As we move forward on life’s road trip, it’s important to find a passenger to ride along beside you. To experience the valleys and the joys of life. Surround yourself with encouraging and loving people—ones who believe in you, lift you up and support you. Once you do, the ride is sure to bring more joy, and you’ll treasure your trusted friend in the passenger seat.