Monday, November 14, 2011

Why Am I Here?

On the surface, it seems like a fairly easy question...why am I here?  The more you analyze the question, the more complex it becomes.  I asked this question over the weekend at our men's retreat.  Due to confidentiality that was promised, I'm not allowed to reveal any of their answers.  One of the men wanted clarification.  "Do you mean why am I here this weekend or why am I on the planet?" he asked.

"The question is open-ended and it's up to the individual to answer it according to what's in his own heart," I replied.

When I was asked to help plan the retreat weekend, I thought of the first retreat I attended with my wife, my sister and my brother-in-law.  There was a series of announcements at the end of each church service leading up to the retreat and I resisted saying yes.  Thoughts of playing tennis on the weekend and watching football on TV prompted me to reject the invitations.  Then it happened.  The weekend before the retreat, Tony and his wife Lisa, stood up to give the last commercial.  Their children flanked them on each side as Tony spoke about how he became a better husband and father because of attending the three-day weekend.  I was hooked.  "What are you doing?" my wife asked while standing next to me at the sign-up table after church.

"I'm going to the retreat," I replied.  She was shocked and had already decided she was attending even it meant going alone.

Standing behind me was my sister and brother-in-law.  Each of us decided we wanted to become better parents and better spouses.  That first weekend was life-changing for all of us.  I became engaged in my church and learned to be a better man.  Now I was given an opportunity to create something from scratch that could provide tools for the men of my church to reach new heights.

Our deacon wanted to include a viewing of "Courageous" at the camp-out, however, the movie was still playing at the theaters and a license to show it during our retreat was out of our budget.  Then the rain forecast changed our plans and we decided to spend our first evening at the movies.  It set the tone for our three days together.  Our three talks...Faith, Calling and Family seemed to compliment the movie.  The question and answer period after each talk allowed the men to share their ideas.

On the last day of our weekend, we sat together in church accompanied by our families.  Our deacon asked us to stand up before the congregation and acknowledge our renewed commitment to be better dads and better husbands.  In his own way, each man found answers to the question..."why am I here?"  Invite your spouse on a date and watch "Courageous."  It will help you find your own answers to the same question.  And your children will thank you.

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