This weekend, I had the opportunity to be the returning worship leader at my home church’s youth beach retreat. This was a retreat I had been on as a high school student, and last year as a worship leader. I was excited to be invited back, but even more excited to work with the speaker– my brother, Patrick.
Patrick and I grew up in this youth group together and have even gone on this same retreat together. It was so cool to work alongside my brother this weekend and experience this awesome retreat in a totally different way. Instead of staying up late giggling with friends, we tried to keep our eyes open at midnight while in conversation with fellow leaders. Instead of taking advantage of every second of free time, we focused on relaxing (even if that meant taking a nap in the middle of the day). In this laid back environment, my brother and I got lots of time at the beach and lots of time to catch up.
Patrick is a youth worker in Ohio, and we don’t get to see each other much. We were always very close, and take full advantage of anytime we have together. Sometimes, this means a full schedule, but most of the time, it means simply spending time together.
My mom has a saying: “Don’t miss it ’till it’s gone.” Since my brother and I are no longer living at home, my family doesn’t spend a lot of time together anymore. When in those situations, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by anticipating the “goodbyes” on the horizon. This can be quite a downer, and has the potential to ruin the little time we do have together. Since family time is usually limited, we make it a habit to not miss people until they’re longer around.
I have found this to apply to many situations in life. Whether it’s friends, family, college life, or vacation, things in life are better when enjoyed. This summer will be full of new experiences for me. I’m excited to go on trips, work new jobs, go on adventures with friends, and live out on my own, and I’m already realizing how important it will be for me to put this long-held saying into practice.