Good food, better friends, Halo, catching up with a friend, coffee, guitar gear, more catching up with good friends, college basketball, more good food, connecting with good friends and sunshine. These were the things that filled the past weekend for me, and they were wonderful. So wonderful that at one point I feared the sky would come crashing down to compensate for all the goodness.
A life-friend was in town this weekend to celebrate his 40th birthday and a group of us had dinner together followed by a couple hours of four-person Halo. Yes, a bunch of 40-year-olds were playing Halo (not very well, I should add) until 11:00pm on a Friday night. It felt like I was 30 again. Endless thanks to my wonderful wife and my friends’ wives for making it happen.
Saturday morning I spent time with a really good buddy and our daughters, drinking coffee, talking about life and God and generally catching up. He lives in town but we hadn’t really seen each other for four weeks, which was entirely too long. We are both in similar stages of life (despite a 12-year age difference), work transition, lack of community and a desire to serve God by serving others. The time together was refreshing for the soul.
Later that afternoon, J and I caught up with my birthday friend and his family and again, it was a life-giving time. We have both learned some lessons about loneliness in ministry in the past year and it was comforting to know that we weren’t alone in those lessons. It would take very little to convince me to work with him again if the opportunity presented itself.
Saturday night, I watched my alma mater win a very tight overtime game against their in-state rival. Despite the nervous stomach I had most of the game, it was great to watch. Knowing that they can handle close situations like that means that National Championship hopes are still alive.
Sunday after church J, C and I had lunch with the same friend and his family at one of our favorite restaurants. C was a little grumpy and I’m not sure J ate all that much, but I was still very encouraged. We haven’t been out to eat much with C (at least not the sit-down kind) lately as she has gotten more active, so it was nice to be able to do that again – even if it took a little work.
To top it off, the sun was shining most of the weekend. The older I get, the more convinced I am that I suffer from a mild form of Seasonal Affective Disorder and it has been gray way too much lately. The sunshine and resultant vitamin D in my system was a welcome reprieve and reminded me that spring will come eventually.
Times like this past weekend are times that I really want to remember better than I do. I am convinced that God gives us tastes of eternity more often than we are aware of and that we do a pretty terrible job of remembering them in the midst of our daily struggles. My prayer is that I would remember these expressions of His kindness and blessing to me and my family for more than just a day or two and that I would be moved to continue to offer myself as a blessing to others. Thanks, Lord.