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A Reason, a Season, a Lifetime

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- "A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world." These words, penned by Lois Wyse, remind us how important friendship is to the journey of life.

In life we experience many and varied relationships; people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When someone is in your life for a reason, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. This is a relationship I often enjoy as a chaplain, providing help for a particular problem or lending an ear for a moment.

Some people come into your life for a season, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. My circle of friends has grown as a result of a deployment and though we've shared only a 'season,' I will remember every one and count myself blessed to have come to know and appreciate their qualities.

Lifetime relationships teach us lifetime lessons, things we must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Our job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what we have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of our life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. Friendship says: "If you're alone, I'll be your shadow. If you want to cry, I'll be your shoulder. If you want a hug, I'll be your pillow. If you need to be happy, I'll be your smile. But anytime you need a friend, I'll just be me."

Another year has ended, a new year is before us. Take some time to think of the friends you have made in the last year. Make it your purpose to tell that person, "thank you for being part of my life." Whether it's for a reason, a season or a lifetime.