If you are over 55, there is a pretty good chance that you will know who these people are. If not, then you probably will recognize Walt Disney (in the center of the picture). As a youngster, I remember coming home from school, playing a bit and then putting on "The Mickey Mouse Club". They were entertaining and it wasn't long before I viewed them as my "friends". Of course, that was a little presumptuous on my part, but when you are 7 or 8, you take a lot of things for granted. Still, I loved the show, and couldn't wait to see it. I especially liked "Annette" and had the biggest crush on her you could possibly imagine. Decades have passed and my youthful look at the world has changed considerably, but one question remains valid whatever my age is: How do I define a friend? Jesus puts it this way...
John, Chapter 15
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you. 16 You didn’t choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Seeking the highest good for another, being willing to really sacrifice for them is the hallmark of true love. In reference to the Almighty, this means obedience. Not just a plain "I believe", but a constant trust; AN OBEDIENT TRUST!!! Frankly, my wish for everyone out there is to find as many friends as possible and to attempt to be the best friend you can be yourself. Begin by making Jesus your friend first, learn from him and go from there. Now, I know that I will probably never, ever even meet one of the people in the picture, but I still consider them my friends because of the joy they have brought into my life. I hope that my life will bring joy to God and that yours will as well.