I am thankful for the men in my crew who do our best to get together at least once a year to connect. All nine of us realize that we were ordained to meet nearly (some of us) 10 years ago and grow closer to one another. My friendship with these guys is a deep sweet fountain of water to my soul. Water, because, like most American men, I live much of my life in the desert.
These men met me there on various adventures that fell within their own deserts. They help to ground me and help me to feel less overwhelmed at life, much of which many of us live in our heads. While we met through a ministry of international proportions, our ties have sustained well beyond the truths presented to us through that ministry. I.e. it kickstarted our hearts and lives, giving us the respective shoves we needed.
Unfortunately, the closest any of these men live to me is a distance of approximately 300 miles. It takes me at least a half day to get to one of them. My connection locally is incredibly limited.
There are plenty of opportunities to meet similarly-minded men through church, which is probably where I would have made my deepest friendships had we actually attended the same church in the same town. The challenge that I have is that the men locally seem to need some sort of goal or agenda for meeting together. From what has been explained to me, it’s about keeping score and advancing through ranks of some sort.
I am thoroughly discouraged and disconnected over it. I’m actually rebellious over it.
But I’m still alone. My wonderful wife and Princesses are incredible during this season of my life. My wife is working to get a business established and working part time retail for now over two years. I have the crew of men who connect with me often through social media, phone and email. I also have a community of mutual support through a few Facebook Groups that have seen me and my wife complete our first 5k last year, have seen me through a new job, have seen me execute some thoroughly challenging decisions in the past 16 months.
As I enter the winter season in one of the top ten snowiest metropolitan areas in America, I struggle even more gravely. For many others, the season is one of reliving and grieving the loss of a loved one earlier this year, or in years past, continuing to struggle with finding meaning and hope and connection. My prayer is for all of us to find that connection – again.
How deep are your connections? If they do not exist or lack the depth that you wish, what are you doing about it? Are you just lamenting what you are missing, or are you looking for opportunities to connect? Share your story in the comments below.