A Friendship: The First Three Billion Miles

Photo by John Sanderson of Sanderson Images

Six years is no small feat.
Imagine, for example,
the distance the earth travels
in one year:

500 million miles,
give or take.

Which technically means
we have traveled
billions of miles together. I guess
that makes sense because who can
measure the distance traveled
when a friend miscarries or
nearly dies, or buries
a stillborn child,
or starts a business, or has a child,
or watches a parent grow old
right before their eyes? How many billions
of miles does it take to
revive a flagging marriage
or decide to move away or
start over again?

I know a hard year can feel
like at least ten million miles.
Pulling out of depression? A few hundred
million miles. Laughing at good stories?
at least a million miles each.

And we’ve done all these things
together. We’ve traveled those miles,
all while huddled around tables
on cold winter nights with ice
on the panes, or melting together on
summer evenings
swatting mosquitoes and watching
the children dance around the
bonfire. We’ve driven home
barely able to keep our eyes open,
fallen into bed full,
oh, so full.

Can we raise our glasses to friends,
to more stories and food and wine,
and even, if we are brave enough,
to heartaches and disappointments
and failures? Can we toast the things
we hated but that somehow
made us stronger, or wiser, or
more forgiving?

Can we, in other words, raise
our glasses high,
on this almost winter’s night,
to another billion miles,
give or take?

One Reply to “A Friendship: The First Three Billion Miles”

  1. I look at young people today and feel sorry for them. They believe their lives should never have to face adversity, or tragedy. They feel no one should ever disagree with them or correct them. In essence, they have never been challenged, and thus, they have never grown up.

    It’s in the challenges of lives that we grow our character, not in the so-called safe places. Freedom comes with responsibility. It also means there are people and ideas we will never agree with. How many miles can we put between tragedies? Not sure. I can tell you this for sure, I could never have made it through the many losses I’ve suffered without Christ in my life, and the knowledge that my dead loved ones are alive again, through their faith in their Lord and Savior.

    One of the things I try to do is disciple young people, so they can have some internal strength to face the challenges. The world vision we’ve had for our ministry includes training disciples, and instructing them, so they will have the strength to carry on, and not look for the safe spaces to hide, but to hide in His arms, know the Lord is always with us.

    Thanks for the article. It got me to thinking about those tragedies and how they have helped me grow, and appreciate the life we have.

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