I spent this past weekend with a small group of our students on a retreat at Summit Lake in Frederick County, Maryland. I had a great time watching them bond and learn together. It was pretty obvious that they’ve come to mean a lot to one another.
Watching them got me thinking of another group that meant a lot to me when I was in High School. I was part of a youth group at our church that was a pretty tight knit group. Most of them I haven’t seen in 25 years or more, but if I ran into one of them today I think we would pick up right where we left off. We shared a lot together and they meant a lot to me.
As I think back, I wonder what my life would have been like without them. One thing is certain, it would have been drastically different. They were the ones who kept me from making a lot of stupid decisions. They loved me when I made truly colossal mistakes (and boy, did I make them). A lot of who I am today, I credit to them – their friendship, their guidance and their patience. I’m so thankful that they were in my life and that they were my friends.
We’ve drifted apart over the years; hey, it happens. Yet I still consider them my friends and I love ‘em.
So this is just to say thanks. I hope the students from the weekend retreat will be friends for one another that are as awesome as you all were to me. And that 25 years from now they will look back and be truly thankful to God for one another – as I am for you.