I like all kinds of music.
I’m an old soul, so my favorites are gospel music and motown. But I also listen to country and rock and some Top 40. Sometimes, I feel like a new season calls for a change in music. And this time of year with the warmer weather, I want to get in my car, roll down the windows, and turn up the country music. Like that song by Alabama: Let’s roll the windows down, turn the radio up; let the wind blow through our hair.
I love country music because so much of it sounds like real life. The other day, the weather was warm, the sun was shining, and the country station played a song I’ve always loved by Tracy Lawrence:
You find out who your friends are.
Somebody’s gonna drop everything,
Run out and crank up their car,
Hit the gas, get there fast,
Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far.’
They just show on up with their big old heart.
You find out who you’re friends are.
It’s a simple message—true friends are not necessarily always there in the good times, but they always show up in the times we need them most.
Oprah explained this well: “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
We’re going to find lots of friends who like to be around for the good times, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We should enjoy fun experiences with our friends! But we need people in our lives that are eager to stick around during difficult times.
Rudy Giuliani dedicates a whole chapter of his book Leadership to this very principle. It’s titled “Funerals are mandatory, weddings are discretionary”. It’s good to celebrate with people, but it’s far more important to be there when life is hard.
It’s good to celebrate with people, but it’s far more important to be there when life is hard. @KevinPaulScott
Who are these friends in your life? It’s good to invest in a lot of people, but we need to be intentional with the few friends we know will be there, not just to celebrate the high moments but to stand by us in the hard ones. True friends “rejoice with those who rejoice” and “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15, ESV).
So, you’ve read this far, and you’re either encouraged because you’re picturing certain friends in your mind as you read, or you’re discouraged because you’re not quite sure if you have those friends who will stand by you when life gets hard.
So, how do you change that? How do you find these types of friends?
Zig Ziglar has a solution: “If you go out looking for friends, you’re going to find they are very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”
Be the kind of friend that’s there for both the rejoicing and the mourning, and you’ll find you’ve cultivated and kept more of these friendships than you ever thought possible.