I know what you've been thinking: "Hey, what happened to last week's Beyond Living post?" Thank you for noticing that a week was missed. I was on vacation and if I took the time to post, my wife would have chucked my iPad into the ocean. Worse, she may have tossed me into the Atlantic and spared the iPad, or as she calls it, the Mahjong machine.
How was my vacation? It was awesome! Thanks for asking. I think people overuse that word, "awesome", nearly as much as they overuse commas and quotation marks. "That movie was awesome!", "That Chevette is awesome!", or "That new Justin Bieber song is awesome!" Okay, that last one is a given, but let me explain the point I am really trying to make.
Laying on the beach, alternating between naps and a good book, followed by body surfing and parasailing was really cool. Universal Studios and Epcot were also nice places to visit. Performances by Blueman Group and Cirque du Soleil were demonstrations of imagination, excellence and beauty in motion that I had never dreamed of. And Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and The Great Smoky Mountains were outstanding. It was a great vacation. But those experiences in and of themselves were not awesome. Those experiences aren't what tripped my "awesome" trigger.
Awesome was SHARING those experiences with some of the people I love most in life. My beautiful wife Deborah and I celebrated our wedding anniversary which not coincidentally was also a celebration of the best two years I have ever lived. Being married to my best friend, laughing and loving every day, definitley ranks in the awesomeness category. Even better than that new Bieber song.
We were also able to share these experiences with one of two amazing daughters and her husband, who isn't quite as equal in amazingness, but pretty close. Deborah and I were able to spend 9 days and 2600 miles with these two "kids". That was awesome!
Samantha and Andy are leaving in less than two weeks on a missionary trip to Cambodia. While there, they will be teaching young men and women how to escape the circumstances of poverty, brutality and human-trafficking through education, skills building, fellowship and Christian discipleship.
They will be living among these young men and women, with whom they love, for the next six months, seven days a week. Living where they live, eating what they eat, shopping where they shop: sharing life with them. Even though I am going to miss them while they are gone, and will be praying for their safety and well-being the whole time, I say again, awesome!
The thrills and chills of Cirque, the audio/visual display of Blueman, the wonder and power of the ocean and the beauty and majesty of the mountains are all great. But being able to share life with the best people I know? That is what awesome looks like. Watching them give their lives to help make someone else's better... definitive awesomeness.
If you would like to be part of this particular brand of awesome, helping to support Samantha and Andy while on their trip, they can use your prayers, encouragement, and/or financial support. Send me a message and I will get you the information you need. I will also link to their blog once they have it up and running.
What does awesome look like to you? And if you can think of something more awesome than sharing life with great people, fulfilling your purpose in life and doing great things for God, I would love to know about it.