today’s song: Eyes Wider Than Before by Scott Matthews
For the past few months, I’ve often found myself caught in slobbered daydream, staring out the window at shape-shifting clouds and fantasizing about a time not so long ago. My eyes get big and my heart starts to ache just a little. But before this dream can get even close to good and real, I’ll hear a “ding” and open up an email that abruptly wakes me and shakes me back to reality. It is both sobering and frustrating, yet I can’t help but find myself lost again in the thought within a few hours or worse, minutes. Ever the optimist, ever hopeful, ever half-full, I am still holding on to the possibility that me and my 3 best friends from college can all reunite over a week this summer. I never thought it would be this hard. The four guys that started this very blog together have not been in the same room (better yet, same state) for nearly three years. I have hope that that will change sooner rather than later.
There’s a certain magic and chemistry when you put our group together. There’s this wonderful mix of sincerity and sarcasm and love and laughs and play and peace. We all make each other better yet somehow manage to tempt the worst in each of us to come growling out of hibernation. That’s family, right? I’d never experienced that level of community before and have yet to since. I’d always heard that college was the “best years of your life”. I just thought it was something dads were supposed to say. I always underestimated that little glimmer in their eyes as they looked off to the blue sky and trailed off in their words. I even remember strolling down a sidewalk on our college campus around midnight once thinking, “Are these really the best years of my life?” I suppose I was expecting something flashier. Something that felt less like home and more like Neverland. But there was a real substance and sustainability to the relationships that we shared.
Nevertheless, the reunion of the Lost Boys has been a bust so far. All four of us are busy adults now. No more midnight wiffle ball. No more 3-hour long passion-filled sessions of prayer and worship and…video games. No more rushing to be the first in the shower at 8am before class or stretching out on the living room couch at night to find yourself in a rare moment of solitude and silence. I could go on and remain nostalgic about the things we did and the sights we shared. In fact, that’s just what I would have done in the not so distant past.
I’ve been told that I’m a victim of holding on to yesterdays. I used to always long for us to get together for a week to recapture some of that lightning that struck for a few years in my very formative late-teens and early 20s. I wanted to bottle it and keep it on a shelf and find myself lost in post-lunch comatose, staring at this flashing bottle that every now and then shook so hard it fell of my desk but never breaks.
But in this process of trying to get everyone back together, I’ve found myself growing in a way I didn’t know was possible. I want to leave an open bottle on my desk I don’t really want to get everyone back in the same room just to bottle what we once experienced. Those moments were very specific to where we all were at that time. Instead, I want to get everyone back together to see where we all really are at this time.
I want to see how these young men have grown into men. I want to recognize their laugh and know their smile but be caught off guard by the new words they use and the different songs they sing. I want to learn who they want to be someday and dig deep to find out who they are now. I want to sit alongside them on that living room couch at night and enjoy the silence together. If the video games or worship songs break out, all the better. But more than anything, I want to look into their widened eyes and see what they now see.
love that distant beam of light
a drop of neon floods my weary eyes
illuminates my soul, is inspired
I’m heading your way
with the traffic by my side
remember how it was before
just a minute away
I’ll be knocking on your front door
don’t underestimate, this precious time
every second is treated as though
there is no time
Your eyes are wider than before
So little has changed
but your eyes now see much more