Riding in vans with teenagers

A couple times a year we go on trips with our student ministry. For a few of these trips I find myself driving a van full of teenagers. Over the years, I’ve added up some real miles on these vans. Each trip is always unique, but there are certain similarities that repeat over the years. For example, you can always count on a loud and playful atmosphere in the van. It’s part of the fun, actually. Recently, we embarked on our second annual Fall Retreat. On the way home from the retreat, one my students asked me a question about driving a van full of teenagers. She asked something to the effect of, “Do you like it when everyone is loud and singing all the time or does that get annoying?” I smiled and answered, “No, I don’t mind at all.” The more I thought about it, the clearer the irony became–the loud and rather chaotic van noise is actually a beautiful sound. It’s proof of life lived to the full.

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Time is on our side

The perpetual clock of life never stops ticking away. Ever notice how easily the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months and the months into years? Time passing away should never surprise us and yet it does. If you’re like me, you have days and weeks that go by like a blur, and at the end of the month you find yourself asking, “Where’d the time go?” I have a habit of getting into these ‘reflective’ moods. Hours will pass by and I don’t even realize that I’m stuck in my head thinking.

Sometimes I carry this reflective mood into weeks and even months. Time will pass by and I’m struck with the realization that this particular moment of time will never repeat itself. There will never be another October 2012. Now, hopefully, I get to see another October next year, but it will be different. This particular one is gone forever. I know–that thought is a little pessimistic, but it’s true.

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Birthday Weekend

My wife and I have a tradition called Birthday Weekend. No matter what day of the week your birthday falls on, you get to celebrate your birthday the subsequent weekend. I’m not sure exactly when this tradition started, but we’ve stuck to it for several years now. Recently it was my wife’s birthday and we pronounced the biannual arrival of birthday weekend in our house. We were both excited to celebrate not just one day, but all weekend. I’ve learned that parties can always go a little longer in my opinion.

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Born and Raised

It’s been an interesting week for me. On Saturday, we dropped my younger brother off at college. I walked on the campus I once called home and was instantly overcome with lingering feelings of days gone by. The memories, joys, pains, victories, and defeats of my college years started knocking on my heart. Nostalgia was everywhere. I can’t believe it was nearly ten years ago when I first set foot on that campus as a freshman. Where did those years go?

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