"In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, you have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, I can truly say to every group of Christian friends, you have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another. The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others."
I saw a commercial for a movie called "The Adjustment Bureau" last night. The premise of the movie (disclaimer: I have not seen it) is that there is a group of people out there who control your destiny and fate...who you will marry, where you will work, who your friends are. I cringed at this thought. On the other hand, what an incredible thought it is to know that God is orchestrating situation and relationships in our daily lives--seemingly chance encounters that often encourage us, propel us forward or inspire us. As I look back over my friendships (and of course family) I cannot help but marvel at the individuals that God has placed in my life.
We can all identify people who have been placed in our lives to nurture us, test us, expand our horizons--and we often end up taking tiny bits of pieces of what we learn from these friends and adding them to ourselves. The Christian individual can say with confidence that no relationship is a coincidence, but an opportunity to expand oneself and to encourage a better another person's life.
Take the time to thank someone in your life (I'm sure we all have more than one person) who has impacted you. We can all use a little encouragement!