Nothing wrong with the limo. Occasionally, I will see them around town. This time of the year, a limo might be filled with teenagers who are on the way to prom. Or, you might see the limo pull up in front of Ninfa’s Mexican restaurant. The driver will open the door and scores of high school kids seem pour out. (Probably an exageration.) When President Bush is at his Crawford home, it might be a dignitary traveling from the airport to Crawford. Regardless, whenever I see these limos, I often wonder who is in them.
I think Oprah is right. When you are doing well, lots of people want to be your "friend." They are happy to ask you (a season ticket holder) for tickets to the game. They are delighted to enjoy your pool or your boat. They are glad to ask to borrow your cabin or house by the lake. But would these same people be around if you had none of that to offer? As one friend told me, "Some people I barely know ask me to get them tickets etc. These are not really friends. They are just using me."
When the limo breaks down, will they ride the bus with me?
Real friends look beyond job titles, house size or location, income, car, etc. Real friends look at another person as a human being who has something to offer. Yet, so often some of us seem to get focused on the "limo." We can’t seem to get past how they dress or where they live. Some of us can’t seem to get past the fact they some make a lot of money. Yet a real friend is with you no matter what. If you ride in the limo, a real friend is with go with you. If you take a bus, a real friend will go with you as well.
So where do you find friends like that? I’m not sure I know. I do know I can be a friend like that. I can be a friend who can look past a person’s money or lack of it to the him or her as a person created by God. I might ask a few questions:
- How do I treat well-to-do people?
- How do I treat people who are barely getting by?
- How do I treat people who have little to offer me? (in terms of monetary help or status)
- How do I treat people who are considered important?
- How do I treat people who many people consider unimportant, different, or odd?
- How do I treat the attractive, outgoing man or woman in my company?
- How do I treat the shy, awkward, person who is considered to be very low on the scale of importance where I work?
I once heard a man compliment a guest speaker who came to our church to speak. He said something like, "You know, I’ve heard of him for years but never met him. I was very impressed. He acted like he was one of us. You would never know he was one of the most important…."
Can I just be myself? Can I ride in the limo without using people? Can I ride on the bus without being embarrassed? Can I just be God’s child interacting with other people who God created? A lot of that comes down to where I find my security. Do I find it in Jesus or do I find it what this world calls success.