A Lesson in Laughter

"To laugh at yourself is maturity."

- William Arthur Ward

Last weekend Nate and I threw towels, linens, Bibles and thrift store gems into one medium-size suitcase and boarded buses headed to the middle of nowhere. We spent three days in cabins with these rockstars:

Let me tell you a little about these kids. Our church is split into three campuses, of which the Clear Lake campus is the newest, smallest and least-known...kind of like an overlooked stepchild. Surrounded by hordes of shouting teenagers from the other campuses, we felt minuscule and a bit like a proverbial David facing Goliath. Except, in real life David defeated Goliath. Enter Recreation Time. Our motley crew found ourselves face to face with a dozen fully grown boy-men, full of muscle and zest to win. We played them in every. single. game. We were defeated terribly, insultingly. At one point in dodgeball they gave us every ball, and we still got creamed. I, ever a champion of justice, fumed at the outrage of it all. 

And here's where the Clear Lake kids taught me a bit about maturity. They never once complained. They never stopped having fun. When we were trounced and destroyed at every turn, for every single competition all weekend, they somehow found it funny. And they laughed and joked and made memories without a second thought about actually "winning." Clearly, in my book they're all winners - at a game much more important than sports. They lost with grace and good humor, focusing on building relationships rather than being the best. I realized just how competitive I really am, and learned to take things down a notch. After all, who cares about eating a can of Vienna sausages faster than anyone else, or winning the moonwalk competition or human Foosball, when we can look stupid and laugh about it and pray together and have amazing conversations about stuff that really matters?

I love y'all. You taught me a lot last weekend. Thanks for not being afraid to laugh at yourselves, and having a blast even though we were in last place. And Nate, thanks for being the best youth leader on the planet. You modeled a good attitude to these kids even when I couldn't. You inspire me (and you're a ridiculously good-looking 80's throwback).