I had my official "First Best Week of the Summer" this week. For those who don't know, I spend the better part of the week with my best friends down in Redondo Beach where they have an apartment. One of them, Jordan, hooked me up with a job at Coldstone of Long Beach making ice cream cakes. When I'm not doing that, I hang out with the guys and this week has finally blossomed into the quality of life I desire most.
What was so good about this week? It started with conflict, of all things. Jordan made a comment that another one of my friends/roommates took offense to and responded quite passive aggressively. That led the upset friend, Royce, to have to come to grips with the way he handles problems when the two of us were at the Men's Group Tuesday night. Going through Foster's Celebration of Disciplines, this week's focus was corporate confession in which I was able to go deep with a bunch of guys, further deepening my newly made connections in a new community, and having the opportunity to confess my sins.
I believe it was that same night that Royce, Eric (the last friend/roommate of the apartment) and I dove into a long conversation about Ethnic Inequality and the unfortunate reality of the situation that lasted til 2 in the morning, only for Eric and I to go into even deeper stuff, personal stuff, like confession, that made my night. I love connecting deep with people!
The next great thing that happened this week was spending the whole day with Eric at church where he is the Junior High Director. Eric, Matt (his JH right hand man and fellow men's group member) and I ran errands, talked theology and hung out with kids for hours as Wednesdays are the night for Pipeline the Outreach program at St. Andrews Pres. I am slowly growing more comfortable around the kids and see great potential in those kids. I'm feeling a connection forming with one kid, Zach. We'll see how that goes this summer. After Pipeline, Eric, Royce Chuck (Eric and my old High School Leader and current Head of SAPC's Youth Program) and I went out for dessert and to wind down the night. It ended up being a continued conversation about Ethnic Inequality, except Chuck did an excellent job reiturating the point Eric and I failed to, that the media has no social responsibility to portray equally valued ethnicities as caucasians are. Anyways, that ended well.
Yesterday was great too. I went to coffee (except I got Chai... I leave beans for my Mexican food, not my beverages) with Eric and his Mentor Chris. We went over a lot of stuff, only to run into Chuck along the shore to talk about the current church problems. That sparked conversation about being stewards of God's money, how the reality of finances isn't easy, and all the emotions and frustrations that come along with it.
I had P. F. Chang's for lunch with Jordan, Andie and some of her friends after not giving blood, gave firewood to Eric for a campout he's having for the 8th graders, and played my first nine holes of golf ever (okay, it was only Pitch and Put, but golf nonetheless) with Jordan, bought stuff for their patio, and had my first Taco Truck Run of the summer.
I feel enthusiastic for the weeks ahead, for more time to pour into my friends, show some kids they are valued, and improve some other relationships that need help. God is good at never letting me waste time for too long.