– 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?