Jul 26, 2009

a note to some noteworthy men... that i ditched this weekend

This weekend I missed out on a reunion for "Son City" - a rather profound movement of God to reach out to teenagers that started many years ago in the Chicago area and eventually became Willow Creek Community Church. I came into it during my junior year, and through it trusted my entire life to Jesus Christ.

But I couldn't make the reunion.

It was a tough call, but I chose to instead celebrate 15 years of marriage to my bride by renewing my vows in our church family.

It was a powerful, powerful weekend.

I saw many people I don't normally get to hang with - family who are friends; friends who are family. My dad and I "had a catch" in our front yard - literal Field of Dreams kind of stuff.

Then today my 2 boys walked my beautiful wife down the aisle as we took on a vow for another 15 yrs - and our church agreed to walk that with us as we walk with them.

My parents hung out with each other - another miracle.

No, literally... a miracle.

So I wrote a note to someone who decided one night several years ago to tell a group of high school students about Jesus Christ. He did it most every week, but one night I decided to listen... actually, I couldn't help but listen. Had I had been at the reunion, I might have said something different. But the fact that I wasn't there is why I wrote what is below to Dan Webster, a true follower of Jesus Christ - a friend, mentor, and wide-eyed believer in authentic leadership.

Dan - sorry I couldn't swing the reunion... it tore my heart not to be there.

But it blessed my heart to take part in what I did this weekend - renewing my vows with my bride of 15 years, seeing my parents reconcile - all kinds of God stuff that are disguised in ordinary conversations that are actually quite supernatural moments.

That stuff wouldn't have happened had a teenage version of myself not embraced an invitation you put forth one particular night in a church auditorium to trust in Jesus.

I did. And tonight when I put my boys to bed I had the chance to tell them what redemption looks like in our family tree.

So thank you - I couldn't be there, but it's because I'm "here."

I know you get notes like this all the time.

There's a reason for that, you know.

Keep swinging, slugger.

Then I saw a pic of the reunion on Facebook, so I wrote another note.

The 3 guys in this picture?

The one in the middle invited me to come to something called "Son City" for a month. It sounded like a flea market, so I blew him off. Then one day I said, "Fine."

The guy on the right? He was one of the first handshakes I met that night. Apparently he was something called a "team leader" for my campus. A few months later when I was in a team time, he reached over and put his hand on my shoulder in the middle of a prayer. He didn't know it at the time, but I had just been praying silently that God would in some way touch me in a tangible way. My parents were divorcing and I needed to know He cared.

The guy on the left? He taught me that Christianity can be incredibly fun. Most of the time it was through skits on a stage, and eventually I joined that "drama team" and let my inner freak out in SNL-ish style drama that helped us all laugh and cry in real ways.

I couldn't be at the reunion, but the reason I couldn't is because of three guys.
I want to challenge you to write a genuine note of encouragement to someone who has helped "re-set" the direction and details of your life back toward their original God-designed intention.

Because those people are blessing our lives and many days wonder if they're making any difference.

Remind them that they are, and you just might remind yourself that God is working in your life even when you don't realize it.

3 comments:

debpoillon said...

Wow! That is cool.. and as for telling someone, that they "re-set" the direction and details of my life back toward the God-designed direction of my life.. well Tony, I would have to say a special thank you, to you. Thanks for re-baptizing me in April 2008. I re-dedicated my life to Christ that day. And the direction of my life has really gotten "back on the path". My whole life, and family, were singers, and in the church, but I never did follow that path, although it was my heart's desire, I just had too much fear. Now in my church I am singing on the praise and worship team, and I celebrated this weekend my one year anniversary at this church and how far God has taken me. THANK YOU! May God always use you to change lives to Christ! And i will always remember your lesson about the "may not taste like chipotle, but its in there".. God's rescue in our lives is definitely in there! I taste it every day!!! God IS Good!!!

Terry Linhart said...

Tony,

I needed this post today as I sit about 1.5 miles from Webster's house. But, the content (reaching out) connects to my morning devos in fresh ways that God wants to use to rekindle my love for Him. Thanks, man.

TL

Tony Myles said...

Deb - thank you for those kind words. It's amazing to think of how our lives can be used to touch others... which means God is using you to touch others in the same way. :)

Terry - very cool that you would write this. As I was reading it, my son knocked on my office door and gave me a package. Ironically, a copy of your book was inside. :) Thanks for touching lives as well, and for your friendship. I look forward to my time in February sharing/teaching at Bethel.