As I think about the Christmas season and various social engagements I may be (gasp!) invited to, I think about all the different ways I can “make snowcones”.  It’s in quotes because that’s not really what it is.  It’s more a behavioral response to an introvert’s feeling overwhelmed in social settings.  I was introduced to this term by a dear friend of mine, The Hobbit.

See, when I lived in Rome (NY) I had had the wonderful opportunity to have a gathering of ten good men in my backyard, affectionately known as The Adirondack State Part/Forest in Northest NY state.  For those of us who were there, it will be forever known as DAX 2010.

So, ten of us there.  Most of us had never met before that fateful weekend in July that year.  But we all knew each other, at least in part.  One man, known by many as The Hobbit, or “Samwise” (I still call him “Sammy”) blessed me immensely that weekend.  First, he came.  It took an immense amount of arranging of rides, money, and even a hike with Paco (the Bear Taco), but he made it.  One of my favorite photos of that trip is of him.  Just enjoying nature, good food and drink, and the company of other good men.

I was the host and Chief Cook.  Sammy ended up, somehow, being the “Chief Bottle Washer”.  Actually, despite the amount of beer consumed, I don’t think he washed a single bottle!  He seemed to be a seasoned introvert.  One of the suggestions mentioned in several articles on how an introvert can survive holiday parties is to stay busy.  Help the host.  As Sammy put it, one of his fellow Hobbits, “Merry” had accused him of “making snowcones” during a prior social gathering that Merry was hosting.

I was intentional with how I spent time with Sammy.  All the other men were gathered around the fire pit telling stories, but on the third night of the gathering, I made it a point to hang out with Sammy on the porch swing just enjoying the fact that he came – I got to meet the man who is the one who lived one of the coolest redemption stories I’ve ever heard.  He and his wife “Rosie”.

After talking about 30-45 minutes just ourselves, one by one, most of the other men eventually joined us, until we seemed to become the center of attention, just pouring encouragement into each other the rest of the weekend.

That.  That is what men need.  Introverts or extroverts.  We need each other.  We need to encourage.  We need to raise each other up in prayer.

We need each other.  I’m thankful for Sammy.  And Paco.  And the Ranger.  And the Colonel.  And the T-bird.  And the Gladiator.  And a small handful of other men that I cannot imagine not knowing.

So, introvert or extrovert.  Find a small band of folks and be intentional.  Make snowcones.

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