I am guessing most of what I have to say in this post would apply to our sisters, too, but I can only speak to my own experience as a man, so while this isn’t just for the guys out there, please forgive me if my experience and perspective is somewhat narrow. That being said, I’ve been thinking today about the blessing of brothers, first, because I missed out on a chance to drink beer with some after the district conference north of me tonight, and with good reason, as my daughter had her softball banquet (she got her varsity letter as a freshman) and my truck needs some fixing (nothing major), and, second, because I’ve been so blessed by what this podcast has become and afforded me.
I’ve been talking about doing a podcast for a long time. I’d been talking about it with Ben especially for a long time. I talk about a lot with Ben, often on the computer, when not face-to-face, and have probably thrown countless ideas by him over the span of our time in Milwaukee. Maybe he thought this one, like the rest, I’d get over in a while and be on to the next thing. Who knows? Well, he probably knows. Anyways, though, this becoming a real thing has been a huge benefit to my life, whether or not anyone listens. Thankfully, Peter agreed to join us in the venture, and since then I’ve had regular conversations, and good ones at that, with both of these gentlemen (and I use that term loosely). That might sound like a trivial thing, but few things could be more rejuvenating. I’ve had regular discussions, in person, sometimes with a mic, sometimes without it, and our messaging app and group. It’s stimulating. It’s an opportunity to vent. It’s a chance to think things through. Mostly, it provides a platform to be stupid, to just be a brother, to be comfortable and unwind.
Some people are introverts. That’s not me. But I’m not an extrovert like some. I don’t want to talk to just anyone. In fact, I really don’t like being around people I don’t know. I tend to have a close circle of friends and I get really loud around those I feel really at home with. I’ll talk away with others, but it usually feels more like an obligation. People expect me to talk (I’m a pastor and professor, a talker by trade), and I can talk about anything, so ok. Time with brothers, though, that is something to be cherished.
As I’ve presented at a number of conferences and venues, I’ve really been encouraging guys, especially those in the ministry, to find time to be with brothers. I’m gifted with a wife that realizes I’m the better for it and who knows I get even more insufferable without it. It doesn’t take too much time without meaningful conversation with friends for me to get pretty glum or caught up in less than fruitful endeavors. I am simply more driven, more joyful, and more thoughtful (at least I think so), when I have time to be with people I love, with people who know how to listen and talk, especially about stuff I like to listen to and talk about, with people who know me and like my company nonetheless and with people who I know and whose faults are even endearing to me.
Few things do me better than a good conversation. This podcast has enabled me to have one, indeed, many. It’s also expanded the pool of people with whom I can have them, from guests to listeners who’ve reached out or I’ve run into when out and about. I dig knowing some people dig the same stuff, whether they necessarily agree with me or not. Really, I sometimes enjoy it more when they don’t. So, thanks to Ben and Peter for making the podcast a thing, for listening and talking, for messaging and making me think, laugh, and want to keep the conversations going, and thanks to all of you who’ve listened for doing the same in your own way. Brothers (and sisters) are a real blessing. I pray you all have and/or find some to bring you the same mine have brought me.