Saturday, October 8, 2011

Brothers By Different Mothers

I was 600 miles away from home and alone in my dorm room in Springfield, Missouri.  It was late in the evening and I was exhausted from a thirteen hour car ride.  I remember thinking I had made a huge mistake coming to Evangel College.  As I drifted off to sleep I wondered if I would make it through my first week in that strange place.

The next morning I woke up to the depressing realization that it was really true.  I was alone in a foreign place that was very different from my home in St. Joe, Michigan.  I shuffled my feet down the hall to the community bathroom.  As I walked in, I was greeted by a friendly guy with a big smile who said, "Hi!  I'm Terry!"  As I introduced myself and shook his hand I knew I had met a friend.  I had no idea that this guy would quickly become my "best friend", not just for college, but for life.

The more I got to know Terry Steen the more I got to know myself.  We shared a common love of sports.  We were teammates on the college baseball team, as well as every intramural sports team that we played  for over the next four years.  We fought together on the basketball court, the football field, the soccer field and the baseball field.  We learned together in the classroom, we served together in Student Government and we learned a lot about life as roommates during our final three years on campus.  We competed against each other in "pick up" games, but even then we were pulling for each other.

Our common interests didn't end with sports.  We both loved music and we were always singing harmony on everything from Gospel to Motown.  We loved to laugh and enjoyed making others laugh.  We emceed the campus variety show and brought the house down.

But the most important thing we shared was a common Christian faith.  We often talked about what it meant to be a follower of Christ.  Terry didn't just talk about his faith, he lived it.  He was (and is) consistent and constant in his faith.  Terry represents the best of what I want to be.

How fortunate am I to have a friend like this?  Well, I never had a brother growing up in St. Joe, Michigan.  I had to travel over 600 miles to meet him.  That happened 38 years ago.  Today we are still best friends.  I can tell him anything, I can trust him with everything and I know he is always in my corner.

Have you been fortunate enough in life to have a friend like that?  If so, you know what I'm talking about.  Let me remind you to never take that relationship for granted. Mutual effort and respect can keep it strong. If you haven't had one, let me encourage you.  It's not too late.  I promise you the effort you put into your friendships will pay unimaginable returns to your joy in life. 

Terry and I live hundreds of miles apart but we talk every week.... and now we are writing this blog together.   This is gonna be a blast because nobody makes me laugh like my brother by a different mother.  

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