What are you about?

It's a simple question really, although one that might be difficult to answer:  What are you about?  What defines you?  What is unique about you?  What makes you who you are?

Jamie asked this question of herself on her blog, which got me thinking about what I'm about.

I'm about Jesus, and I'm about helping others follow him.

I'm about my wife.

I'm about the Church and more specifically my church.

I'm about community.

I'm about cities. I live in DC, and my last three trips have been to Seattle, New York City, and Addis Ababa.

I'm about food. I especially love Chicago pizza, hot dogs and beef sandwiches, and if you grill meat I'll like it.

I'm about leadership, learning to lead myself and others well.

I'm about too much TV.

I'm about receiving grace and trying to get better at giving it.

I'm about reading and writing.

I'm about social media.

I'm about driving.

I'm about generosity.

I'm about being stressed and agitated but trying to change that.

I'm about my friends.

I'm about Sabbath.

I'm about poker.

I'm about competition and winning.

I'm about thinking and challenging and stretching my mind (and yours).

I'm about serving the vulnerable, because that's what Jesus is about.

I'm about integrity.

I'm trying to be about joy and intentionality.

I'm about theology.

I'm becoming about artistic expression and travel.

I used to be about politics.

I'm about exercise (sometimes).

What are you about?  Leave a comment below or better yet, write your own post and link back to mine.  I'll be sure to swing by your blog and check it out.

Photo by Flickr User gfpeck

Old Friends

This weekend my mentor, Rick, and his wife, Chelle, were in town visiting Rachel and I.  We had a great time, as we always do with them.  I don’t know exactly what it is, but there’s something special about visiting with old friends.  There’s a soul connection that happens when you get the chance to spend a few hours with someone who you has been a significant part of your life.

Jenny and I knew each other in high school and when we came home from college for breaks would go to Denny’s and talk until the sun came up.  A few years ago I had the privilege of officiating her wedding, and on the rare occasion when we talk on the phone, the conversation is bound to top an hour.

Five years ago Rachel and I moved to DC, which just happened to be a two hour drive from where Rick and Chelle had moved just a couple of years earlier.  We see them for a weekend about once a year just to catch up.  It’s one of the highlights of the year.

Last year Eric, a good friend of mine from college, relocated to DC.  We see each other fairly often, and I thoroughly enjoy his being here.  For a while he considered taking a job in Texas, and I was quite glad when he decided to stay.

In October I was in Chicago for my cousin’s wedding, and I got the chance to see my Janet, my first boss.  We talked for hours, and could have talked for hours more.  I worked for her for six years.

To the right are a few stories of people from my past with whom I’ve had these encounters in recent years. I think the common thread is the length of time and significant experiences I had with each. None of these were people I only saw on occasion.

Jenny and I saw each other at least twice a week went on youth retreats and mission trips together. Rick and Chelle invited me to dinner weekly before our church’s youth group, and Rick led many of the aforementioned retreats. Eric and I lived across the hall from each other in the dorms, and we were part of the same circle of friends. We were also both in DC one summer during college. Janet and I have had any number of shared experiences: she probably makes the top ten list of people who I’ve spent the most time with in life.

I’m not sure if there’s a lesson in here anywhere, other than to appreciate and take time for the significant relationships in your life, those who are close to you now (you might not always have them around so often) and those you used to be close to. There’s little sweeter than a true friend.