|HoneyHoney rocking out|
My friends are crazy. They do the kind of things society tells them are foolish. They take the bland picture of the American dream - mindless wealth acquisition and keeping up with the Joneses, and laugh in its face. They invite danger into their lives, and love with reckless abandon. I'm writing this from my bed, which is currently just a mattress on the floor because a few days ago Sarah called and said: "There's a family in need. They need a bed, so I offered them yours. Ronnie's bringing his truck to pick it up at 4pm." Unfazed, I responded "see you then," no questions were necessary. We give each other's stuff away - we're crazy. The idea of driving through the night after partying for 12 straight hours - tailgating, then cheering on the Atlanta Braves, then getting 2 friends in wheelchairs up an 80-year-old staircase because we couldn't stand the thought of not having them with us for HoneyHoney's electrifying concert - was crazy. Yet as we crossed the border into Alabama at 3am, we knew there was no turning back.
|A gas station in Montgomery, AL at 4am|
All night long, the car was filled with laughter and amazing conversation. Not only is everything funnier when you're sleep deprived, but it also seems like whatever nice shell you're used to wearing in public is also completely worn away, leading to nothing but refreshing candor in your discussions. We talked about what we'd like to get out of life, and we brainstormed ways we could love our friends more deeply and sacrificially. We shared with each other who we needed to advocate for, and we were honest about where we needed to spur each other on. The conversation was so rich that it made the time melt away, and before we knew it, we were pulling into Biloxi, Mississippi, as the sun rose ever so slightly.
Never in my life did I think I would have a debate with a hotel receptionist about which night I was checking in for, but in this surreal universe of crazy adventures, I found myself pleading with the graveyard shift manager at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino to give me the drastically lower Sunday rate. Surprisingly, she was immune to my charms and we ended up paying for the most expensive 3 hour nap in history. While Peter went straight to bed, the adrenaline coursing through our veins was too much for Sarah, Justin, and I to ignore, and we immediately proceeded to the casino. There we discovered two important things: 1) Yes, they do serve unlimited free beers at 6:30am, and 2) if you place really small bets, you can turn $20 into 3 hours of gambling fun. I never did make it into the bed we paid for.
|A wide-awake Justin plays blackjack|
When people tell me they're a follower of Jesus, I always look for the crazy. My friend Dylan spends all of his vacation time and money on helping street kids in Nicaragua get an education. My friends Stephen and Holly are passionate about being positive adult role models to kids in the community they're not even related to. Sarah is constantly tutoring and providing for kids who don't speak English in their home so that they can thrive in this country. Peter, Justin, Sarah, and I decided our friendship was worth driving all night for. My friends sacrifice their time, their resources, their comfort, and their security, voluntarily lowering the standard of living they could afford to have, all to live the kind of adventure that serves others and takes Jesus up on His offer to "have life, and have it to the full."
The crazy life is not easy. We get hurt when the people we strive to serve continue to make bad choices. We get burnt out when we're so focused on the adventure we forget to take a rest (leading to our own bad decisions). We're forced to deal with conflict, and can become jealous of those who seem to be content with sweeping it under the rug. We get frustrated with each other, but we forgive quickly and help pick each other up. We know the struggle is worth it. Give me crazy, or give me death.
What I'm Listening to During this Post: