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Who Are Your Gifts?

My advice to you is to seek out those kinds of friends. If you find ONE, then hang on to him. Then the two of you can seek out another. Listen and watch where the Lord is leading you. Stay away from the guys who do not love Jesus, who are not loyal, who are not fun, and who are not interested in community and accountability. Don’t settle for second-rate buddies. Ask the Lord to bring you into a small group of disciples who love life and want to be warriors for Christ. It will change your whole life for the better. I promise. I have stories to prove it.”
Andy Kerckhoff, A note to graduating seniors from their teacher

This August I’m planning to visit Banff, Canada with six other college friends. While the details of the trip haven’t been ironed out, what has been established is the truth that there are fewer joys and jewels in life than deep, soul-stirring friendships. For almost fifteen years we have had the pleasure of watching each other live life, sometimes from a distance and sometimes up close and personal. We’ve witnessed unbelievable highs and unspeakable lows. We’ve laughed ‘til we cried and cried ‘til we laughed. We’ve kept in touch through the weddings, births, jobs and everything else that comes along with the lives of men in their mid-thirties. And do you know what? It never gets old.

A few years back we committed to meet annually for an extended weekend or so (we call the trip “Fandango”, which is another story for another time). I can’t speak for the rest of the crew (there’s seven of us total) but it is almost always the highlight of my year. Period. To again see the faces of guys I’ve admired, loved and cherished is simply a blessing. It’s a blessing to spend time with them, to be reminded of the goodness of God I see in their friendships, to see the trajectory their lives are taking both outwardly and inwardly.

My parents many moons ago told me that college would be a critical time for me, but the importance they warned about had nothing to do with grades or girls. They exhorted me to develop deep, godly friendships with other guys. My mother said that in no other season in my life would I have so much time and such close proximity to pour into so many friends than while I was away at college. She was right and I’m overwhelmingly grateful for her wisdom.

Not only did I see that example lived out in my parents’ lives but now I see it in mine. The greatest thing I have from Baylor University isn’t the sheepskin that hangs on my wall but the friendships I left with from Waco. So as August approaches my excitement level increases like that of a child who finds himself about a week away from Christmas morn. For once again will I enjoy the great gifts I’ve been given in Andy, Jeff, Jason, Mitch, Scott and Craig.

Who are your gifts?

Picture of Yancey Arrington
Dr. Yancey C. Arrington is an eighth generation Texan, Acts 29 Network and Houston Church Planting Network fan, and Teaching Pastor at Clear Creek Community Church in the Bay Area of Houston. He is also author of Preaching That Moves People and TAP: Defeating the Sins That Defeat You, and periodically writes for Acts 29 and The Gospel Coalition.

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