Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: INDEFATIGABLE (02/11/16)
TITLE: The Riddle of Three Friends
By Belinda Peoples
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There is, however, one small problem. None of them want me to tell you their names. They are reluctant to be in the limelight. Each of them impressed upon me the importance of revealing their character as they live by it, not for it. They say if they were to start focusing on their best qualities they sadly wouldn’t be themselves any longer.
I shall have to tell you about them anonymously and pray that, by the end, I will have done them justice. I’m sure they know better than me, so here goes…
The first friend is a fellow of inexhaustible confidence. You’re probably thinking; how can someone with inexhaustible confidence not want me to know his name? I don’t really mean the kind of confidence that makes someone outgoing, or an extravert. This kind of confidence acts like armour. It protects against getting bogged down in sweating the small stuff.
He doesn’t know the answers to all of life’s hardest questions either, but his confidence allows him to overcome these unknowns. He can therefore stay focused on the things that are most important. He approaches life with the unwavering belief that everything happens for a reason, so there is little left in life to doubt.
The second friend has a tireless ability to care for any person he meets, without exception. He has an uncanny knack for understanding others. He can relate to anyone. Whether it’s the new person at church, or the addict on a city corner, within minutes he’s developing a rapport of trust. He can help them feel safe enough to risk being real. His care doesn’t always involve words. Sometimes all he has to do is look someone meaningfully in the eyes so they know he’s truly seen them. That is often all someone needs to believe they matter.
I’ve seen some of the people this friend has met. To me they seem, at the very least, questionable. That matters not one whit to this friend. He puts the good, the bad and the ugly all in the same boat.
I’m quite sure I’ve never heard a word of judgment from him about anyone. A person’s failures never affect his feelings for them. If someone lets him down, he won’t give them up. Sure, there are times when he needs to say something to pull someone into line. It can hurt, but he chooses his words with such tender thought, you hardly fear facing your mistakes. You know deep down he wouldn’t say it if he didn’t have to.
The third friend is a character of eternal optimism. He mostly looks forward in a ‘long-term goal’ kind of way. He never looks back in regret of anything. If he does look back, it is only ever to be thankful for how the past will bring him to the joys of the future. I have a real soft spot for this friend because his outlook on life is always so positive. He can be in the middle of a lousy dog fight and still believe things will turn out for the best.
He never gives up when the going gets tough. His joyful character is quite infectious and encouraging. Wherever he is, you can be sure to find others who have adopted the same positive outlook, no matter what grisly battle they are enduring.
Can you see how it is that these three fellows have become the best of friends? They all have quite different characters and yet, together, they share an amazingly similar view on life. They complement each other quite beautifully. Where you find one, you will most often find the other two. What an unquenchable zest for life they all enjoy!
Have you realised you know who these friends are? Have you worked out their names? I really wish I could just tell you who they are, but they say telling you more won’t bring you better understanding. They say the best way to get to know them now, is to think of each of their qualities as they would shine through Jesus. If you do this, they say, your desire will be endless to call Jesus “friend” too.
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