When Alyson and I married twenty-three years ago we were the youngest of adults, both a few months past our twenty-second birthday. From our vantage point now, I would say we were kids at the altar.
Now, we have kids of our own, and with each passing day they live closer to their adult years than their childhood ones.
And while that may seem like a strange way to begin a tome about our most recent Tired Date, a double with fun friends, I know of no other way than to name the overwhelming context of our lives right now: time flies. And it is scary.
It’s true. We are afraid. Granted, we love Jesus. We pray to God. We worship regularly. And as yet, we haven’t found the magic button that eliminates our fist clenching frustration at bouncing checks. We lament some of our dreams more apt to be crossed off the list than realized, much less attempted. Our career angst is palpable. Our retirement plans are but a whiff of smoke in a wind tunnel. And the kids, well, we have never been here before, raising a middle school-er, a high school-er, and a collegian at the same time, so wondering if we are doing it right is a daily question.
So while you may think our double date with Chris and Lisa A. was just that, a momentary diversion from the rote survival of every day, think again. In a way, it was salvation, and I do mean the eternal kind. See, without divulging any of their stuff, I will tell you here that doing life with people who are walking a similar path is not only a good idea, but essential to health. And that is Gospel, because at its very core it is communal. The best marriages I know aren’t lived in a vacuum, but rather, in community.
Comfort of any kind starts with the elimination of loneliness. I cannot imagine doing life without dear couples that have accepted our invitation to live seasons with us and have invited us to do the same.
While I won’t list the brilliant names of friends dating back to 1989, I will say an existential ‘thank you’ to all of them by way of thanking Chris and Lisa for going to dinner and a movie with us while embodying the spirit of what we love in all our dearest friends: authenticity.
And Chris, in closing, I do want to thank you for an act of friendship that no man, let alone any person, has ever provided me. When I was looking at our photos from Saturday night, I noticed a special gesture on your part. While I took the picture at the movie theater, you placed your hand on my seat to keep it warm.
Wow. No fear, a tad creepy, but oh so authentic. Thanks man.