A few years back, when my son was entering the ninth grade, he invited a bunch of his friends to our house on Monday nights for what became known as “house group.” Every Monday over the next few years, we had dinner for the guys and then a time of connecting with some older guys, and hopefully, some meaningful conversation, and whatever else emerged. Usually it was football, any form of competition, and a ton of wrestling that resulted in multiple holes in our drywall. This became a great tradition as fifteen to thirty guys gathered at our house every Monday for the entire four years of their high school careers. It also said a lot about my son Dylan and how much these guys respected him. It was a ton of work, but my wife and I would both say it was one of highlights of those several years, as we entered these boys’ stories and saw them grow up to young men. It was really hard to see that time come to an end as they graduated a year ago.
Last week I finished up the last of several drywall repairs in our basement. As I repaired holes that occurred through those years, I found myself a little sad. It reminded me that life goes way too quick to worry about things like holes in the drywall. So those of you whose young or old kids are messing up your house… enjoy it. It passes way to fast.
A few days ago, I went to the funeral for the father of one of the boys who spent all those Mondays in our house. It evoked a lot of emotions for me. I was in my twenties when my father died, and it was an event that forever changed me. I know how hard it can be to lose the “rudder” of the ship at that age. But what really brought the moment home for me, was seeing several of those boys at the funeral in support of their friend. They are all in college now, pulled in many directions, but they showed up. It showed me again the power of friendship, the power of showing up, of tradition and shared experiences. It showed me the deep impact of just doing life together. Offering up our house… letting it get damaged, serving all those meals, creating a shared life experience for those guys… totally worth it
So here is to enjoying the journey we are on, including the inconveniences,the holes in the walls, the craziness, the loud voices, the rowdiness. Here’s to the questions: Are they seeing whats important? Are they learning anything? Is what we are doing making a difference, is all this time and investment worth it? Here’s to having staying power in relationships over the long haul, and to creating shared life experiences. The funeral last week reminded me…they do make a difference.
Totally worth it.