For the last three years, I’ve studied the Bible and talked about the things that matter with some guys. That kind of thing turns friends into brothers. Last week, seven of us headed out to Colorado for a week of fellowship. We climbed a 14,259 foot mountain, witnessed a beach boys concert at Red Rocks, slept under the stars, and dominated some middle-schoolers in trampoline dodgeball.
We packed the best of what Colorado has to offer into about 5 days, but the highlight wasn’t the itinerary. The highlight was the fellowship. Three years ago, our Bible study consisted of our leader talking and asking questions and us staring at them with a blank look on our faces nodding mindlessly and occasionally slipping our phones out to check on our evening plans. Seeing that time evolve from then to what Bible study is now has been quite possibly the best part of high school. What’s it look like now? Bible study just happens. One morning, me and another guy wake up early and read a chapter in Colossians together. Another night around the campfire, my cousin poses the question “what’s your biggest fear?” Everyone shares openly and honestly. Under the stars, me and a bro talk about everything from finding a Bible study in college to God’s love and it’s implications on our lives. In the tent next door, we overhear three others talking about catholicism versus protestantism and Christian politics. Bible study no longer has a start and end time and a mom who bakes us brownies and a leader who holds our hand. Now, it just happens.
The trip wasn’t without conflict. It never is. You put seven 18-year old guys in a seven passenger van and there’s gonna be some quarrels and arguments over shotgun seat and restaurant stops and tomorrow’s plans. But that’s how fellowship is. It’s hard to put up with each other. It’s hard to put down the xbox controller and get real. It’s hard to create an environment where learning and growing and discipling and loving can happen. But it’s so worth it.
Next month, the wolf pack is splitting up. We’ll say our goodbyes and we’ll make new friends and some of us might be better at keeping in touch than others. But I know I’ve got six bros who love me and care about me and that’s a pretty special thing that not a whole lot of people have. And maybe over Thanksgiving or Christmas, we’ll get back together to talk about God’s love, grace, college, girls we met, intramural games, roommate horror stories, and our hopes and fears. We’ll be real. And it’ll be a lot of fun. Fellowship is a beautiful thing.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another Proverbs 27:17