How in the world did you write a whole book without me to edit
it? "Lifelong" is one word. You're welcome. :)
Your homework helper,
Are you still friends?
In my early 20s I would have said, "Of course not! How could you consider someone your friend if you don't even know that they wrote a book?!?" However, the older I get, the further away my friends move and the busier life seems, the more I've learned to accept that friendships aren't the same as they were in college. Back then friends were the people who lived life with you--literally. They were your roommates, your classmates, your sorority sisters, your neighbors. You knew every boring detail of their life because it happened before your eyes (or at least it was discussed while walking Milledge Avenue under the guise of "exercising"). Once school is out of the picture though, everyone disperses across the globe, and the definition of "friend" becomes a much broader net. It's a tough transition, and even at 30 I'm still grappling with the concept.
It's even harder when it's been a loooong time since you've seen a friend BUT that time has passed so quickly that it's hard to believe it's been years.
Enter Jared Herd (whose travel schedule is just as crazy as Ryan's).
As my personal academic charity case in college, a man whose style and technological metamorphosis has been neck-in-neck with Ryan's own, the traveling evangelist who married us (for gosh darn sake), Jared Herd never seemed like a friend who we would ever go years in between seeing, but that's how life pans out sometimes. You can imagine my excitement, then, when fates aligned about a month ago and Jared, his wife, Rosanna, Ryan and I were all actually available for dinner on the same night, AND you can imagine my surprise when Jared mentioned during dinner, "Oh, and my book blah, blah, blah..."
Wait a minute--you wrote a book??? We are the WORST. FRIENDS. EVER.
(Really I'M the worst friend ever because any true friend of Ryan's would never expect him to read a book, any book. Unless it's available on audio, of course.)
So he was gracious enough to give me a copy. And I started to read it--and stopped. And I cried. I've known the story of Jared's life as of his early 20s, but I had never read a single word he'd written. (Funny how that happens when someone spends their college career copying off of your homework, huh? Ha.) The question then became not "If your friend writes a book and you don't know...," but rather, "If your friend is an amazing writer who can speak truth and honesty into the hearts of his readers and you don't know, are you still friends?" Let's just say my answer is, "I hope so."
Since we've been together over a decade, the lines of whose friends are whose between Ryan and I are very blurry, but truthfully most of the guys we're friends with are really Ryan's friends. I can count on my hand the few guys that I consider also to stand alone as my friend as well, and Jared Herd is one of them. I'm thankful now not only for his (and Rosanna's) friendship in our lives, but the influence he has on others' lives. Today, on his birthday, I just wanted to take a second to honor him, to verbally high-five him for still considering us his friends despite time and distance, to thank him for using the talents God gave him in such an honest way, and to tell him that, yes, I will finish reading the book--one day. :)
Happy birthday, dude.
Oh, and if you're curious about his book (and you should be), you can read more about it here.