I was conversing last week with a close friend's wife and she asked me an interesting question...
I told her about a prayer I had when speaking to Jesus and some of the answers he gave me.
She asked me, "Why do you think Jesus is your person?"
It was an interesting question... Then she followed up with, "Or, what is it you admire and love about Jesus?"
I thought about this for a minute and the answers were pretty easy.
I loved that he was witty, brilliant, kind, and non-judgmental.
I loved how he held a masculine frame and didn't take any shit from others. He knew who he was, so he didn't care what you thought of him... He did what was right, different from what he thought was cool or popular.
And then, as I was rambling off all the things I loved about Jesus, I said, "You know what else I loved about Jesus? In his hardest moment of life, he called upon his friends to be there for him. I think Jesus showed us the value of having friends; even he, the greatest of them all, needed his friends and other men to support him."
I hadn't ever considered this before, so when I said it, it made me think a lot about my life and what I am trying to do now with this community of men I am building.
What a great example Jesus is of the value and importance of surrounding ourselves with good friends...
To not be afraid to call on them when we go through hard times and love them even when they fall short.
People use a lot of different names to describe Jesus... My favorite one is "friend."
Maybe it's because I know the value that friends have played in my life, maybe it's cause I can see a lot of similarities in this part of Jesus' life with my own? Either way, I love to know that even Jesus, the best ever to live, went out and found friends to spend his days with, learn with, teach with, and build community with.
When I left the religion of my youth, I was sent a talk once titled, "Where would you go?" Referring to the impossible task they presumed one finds themselves in if they leave the church.
It wasn't arrogant; I didn't get offended.
It was accurate.
One of the best things about the church I grew up in is the strong community that it builds. It can be frustrating for those living in the area who are not part of the community, but it is one of religion's most important and beautiful parts.
Leaving that church would make it near impossible to duplicate that type of strong community.
Thankfully, I like difficult tasks. I thought, "What if I were to create a strong community where you don't have to be in or out of the local religion in Utah?" What if I was to create the place spoken of but not existing in "Where would you go?"
So I set out to do just that... Create a community where nobody cares about your social status, career or income, religion, or political beliefs.
We care less about what you are doing and more about how you are doing.
This has been a driving force for my "We Are The They" program...
Last weekend was such a perfect example...
I woke up to a photo of four of the guys in one group attending the LDS temple, men that didn't know each other a year ago. Meanwhile, five other men were off doing plant medicine with their wives and girlfriends and connecting to God entirely differently.
All of them feeling loved and respected by each other.
The weekend was capped off by all of them coming together for a surprise birthday party of one of the members, where over 20 families came to hang out, connect, and share love.
Community is so important.
I am so grateful that I was raised in a place, time, and church with a strong community. It was hard growing older and losing that community.
Feeling that loss firsthand empowered me to build a new one.
Our community is once again open; if you feel called to surround yourself with a group of strong men who want to better themselves in every aspect of life, check us out, schedule a call to learn more, and let's get you in this community.
None of us should be suffering alone and regardless of how good your life is, all of us, even Jesus, need a strong group of men to support us.