Tag: Jack Nicholson

Faith Notes

The secret that saves lives


A few days ago, Lyn and I sat around our kitchen table eating dinner with best friends. It was a rich time, a “this is what it’s all about” time. As they walked out the door, God reminded me of the value of friends. Don’t take them for granted and don’t let misgivings and misunderstandings eat away at friendships. They are too valuable and rare to be thrown under the bus or cast aside.

Friendship isn’t a title to earn, or a status symbol to acquire; it’s a breathing life-bond that brings out the best in each. It’s a joint venture in life, a “down-and-dirty” battle-scared and victory marked story of faith in action. And, nothing is more valuable or more necessary for life to the full.

In a quiet room, removed from the distractions and approaching trauma, Jesus gathered his followers together and revealed, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:15-17 NIV

Friends share secrets, they know what’s going on, even if they live far away. Friends don’t come accidentally they are deliberately chosen. In one way or another, friends make things happen. And, in Jesus’ words, they love each other. In our words, they bring out the best in each other. It’s a give and take, a paying attention to each others, a synergistic relationship.

God’s masterpiece of creation isn’t found in glorious sunsets, mountaintop panoramas, gentle snow falls, or white sand beaches; God did his best work inside the joint people venture he called friendship.

Remember, God experienced it first-hand with Abraham, the man who was called God’s friend. James 2:23 NIV

You can get your face on the front page of USA Today, have a 100,000 followers on Twitter, or get 10 million hits on a YouTube video, but without real friends to share it with, the achievement is empty and fleeting. You may be networked to thousands in Facebook, yet still have zero best friends. There isn’t a magic pill or intoxicating drink that can replace the natural high of faithful friends.

Real “BFF” make mistakes, mess-up, and deal with failure and frustration. At times they get in your face and say what needs to be said. Their words, even if they hurt, always matter. After all, real friends have major parts to play in each other’s life story. It’s a shared adventure embedded in mystery.


The Bucket List is a dialogue-intensive movie about two dying men on a three-month adventure, a journey that transforms a bully into a buddy. The two old men, pompous, arrogant, corporate billionaire Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and pensive, philosophical, car mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman), are almost unbearably different. The only thing they have in common is their terminal illnesses.

While sharing a hospital room, they begin making a list of all the things they’d like to do before they kick the bucket. It’s their bucket list. What began as a topic of conversation became a time sensitive calendar of activities, much more than a weekend todo list. When they were released to die, they took off, determined to complete as many items on the list as time permitted.

In the end not everything was completed, but Ed and Carter had become best friends.

This is not one of those sentimental, heartrending relationship movies; these guys didn’t have touchy-feely moments. But, during the bucket list journey, both men found a missing part of their lives; they didn’t find it in some far off land; they found it in the treasure-trove of real unscripted, in-your-face friendship.

Near the end of the movie Cole eulogies Carter‚ “I loved him. And I miss him. Carter and I saw the world together. Which is amazing… When you think that only three months ago, we were complete strangers! I hope that it doesn’t sound selfish of me, but… the last months of his life were the best months of mine. He saved my life… And he knew it before I did.”

Just a movie… right?


The dirty secret is, life was not meant to be lived without friendship. So, cherish and validate your friends. Eat together, share pictures, stories, adventures, failures, and mess-ups. That’s what friends do.

Regardless of how much we plan and pretend, there are times when nothing can replace the need for a friend who will step in and save us. Sometimes the buddy saves us from our enemies and sometimes the buddy saves us from ourselves. But real friends save lives!

So, begin today. Renew that buddy list. Start a bucket list.

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February 7, 2011 | 0 Comments More