Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Reflection: Visiting With My Brother In California

At the beginning of the year, I had the privilege of being able to travel to California for a week filled with strategy meetings, vision casting, team building and celebration with the amazing folks I get the privilege of working with at Nuru, and as per usual, it was simply an epic time. From the time of Nuru's inception, these annual summits have been incredible times for our international and domestic teams to connect, get to know one another better, and be better equipped to support one another during the year ahead.

But, I also receive a small, but treasured bonus. My brother Chuck and his wife and son live in southern California. It doesn't always work out that I get to see all of them on a visit, but, at the very least, we try to connect and spend a few hours together during my first or last day in the area. My brother left West Virginia a few months after he received his degree in Chemical Engineering from WVU, and since that time, our visits have been far too infrequent. Alas, there is never enough time when you are with people you care about.

But, he and I have both resolved ourselves to make the most of every moment, and this time was no exception. Southern California had experienced a rarity during the time of my visit, and it rained nearly every day I was there, but early on the Saturday morning when we got together, while it was still overcast, the rains stayed away.

So my brother and I made our way to the coast, and found a cool breakfast spot called Ruby's. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast, and our connecting time offered him the opportunity to scope out a new breakfast spot for a future date with his wife. After breakfast, we made our way to the cliffs of Corona Del Mar and enjoyed a walk that has grown increasingly familiar for me over the years. I had recently sprained my ankle so my pace was not incredibly fast, but it felt good to get some mobility going as I continued the recovery process. 

I've always had a deep respect for my brother. He was part of the first generation of my family to go to college. He actually led the charge in many ways in his life. He's an athlete, an outdoorsman, a deep man of faith, and a man who gives his all to everything he endeavors to begin. Our conversation meandered with our walk, but it always stayed rooted (as per usual) in things of substance and importance. We talked about his century bicycle ride attempt (that ended a bit early when dehydration and heat conspired against him), and we talked about the steps both of us continue to take to improve our health and maintain our fitness. We shared reflections from our faith journeys and steps each of us had been taking in our respective relationships with Jesus. And, more than anything else we savored the sights and sounds of our short time together, and enjoyed the sweet fellowship that is reserved for family. 

Our time, as I mentioned before, always seems too short, but as we made our way from the coast back to the airport, I felt energized by our time together. Although our moments of connection in person are rare, those times are a reminder that we are progressing together on a similar journey of faith and discipline. Although the miles between us are several, there is a refreshment that comes from being together with family, and in knowing that we are both in passionate pursuit of bringing the best of ourselves to our life, our work, our home, and this world. And, given that my brother is ten years older than me, he gives me inspiration that I can and will be stronger, more committed, and more focused as those years come racing toward me.

May we each savor time with family, and may we help one another to bring our very best to this world in every arena of our life. In so doing, I believe we can find encouragement for the journey as we strive to live out our God-given purpose for the good of ourselves and for the world around us.

No comments: