“Nice parking job,” are the first words I say to my friend Russ after not seeing him for almost thirteen years to the day. Several months ago we found each other again thanks to a Facebook Linkedin connection combo and now here we are at the Salt Lake International Airport. Has it really been 13 years? Why does it feel like it was just yesterday? I guess that’s how it is with real friends.
The last time we had seen each other was when we were graduating from Air Force Tech School. The two of us along with our two friends Roger and Dave made up a crew deemed the “Lonesome Four” by one of the sergeants in our squadron. Somehow we were the only four that arrived for a class that wasn’t starting for several weeks. As a result, the four of us spent a lot of time together waiting and goofing off. This time led to a bond that was solidified over the next 7 months of training. At graduation, we were sent in every direction and eventually, we lost touch.
Over the next 13 years we all went through our ups and downs that life offers. A lot changed and a lot stayed the same. We matured as much as possible and we became men. Our respective futures looked a lot different than we imagined but our hearts never changed. This was apparent the first time we talked after over a decade of not hearing each other’s voices. (Dave and I actually saw each other 7 years ago in DC before losing touch.) We were right where we left off. We discovered that we had been looking for each other all along through other means. Now, finally we were connected as a result of me joining Linkedin, Russ joining Facebook, and Dave joining both which brought us all together. We each kept looking for Ruble (Roger) independently. And about a month later he joined Facebook too and the circle was complete.
Since then we have talked over the phone, chatted on Yahoo! Messenger and Facebook, and will probably be on Skype pretty soon. We’ve determined not to let another 13 years go by and very frequently there’s talk of a reunion of the entire LF crew. There’s unbelievable gratitude for having found each other and an appreciation for memories that remind us of our highest ideals. As the song says, “that’s what friends are ‘four’.”
I called this post “The Life You Were Born To Live” because I believe that unbreakable bonds like the one I have with these guys is born of the Spirit. Like my cousin Zaki says, “Real recognizes real.” In my opinion just one friendship like this proves that we can fill our lives with relationships of a higher meaning if we so choose. In recent years I have been blessed to rekindle loving relationships such as these and to establish some new ones. In order to do that I had to do a lot of walking away from one situation and toward another.
No matter where we find ourselves in Life, I am certain that we were all meant to be surrounded by Love. We have the right to have relationships with people who love us for who we are and will always encourage us to be what we can be. That is how you find the life you were born to live. The Roofless Church is here to remind you that Love is your inheritance. Go collect it!