Man I love my team, I love my team!

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I am convinced that one of the main things that makes Ray, Ray is my relationship with Jesus. I know that who I am and the passions and convictions that I have are largely from him. In my imperfect and fallen state, I strive to live my life emulating him. Again, if you are on my team, you know how flawed I am in this pursuit.

Let me take a minute here and define what I mean by "my team". My team are the folks who know me. They are the ones who know that "Happy go lucky Ray" is not always so happy nor luckily going. :) My team gets me. They are the ones with whom I feel most comfortable not being okay. They are the ones who, after knowing me, love me. My team is, thankfully, a diverse group of folks. My team is not a homogeneous group. They have different convictions than me. My team has folks from different denominations, political affiliations, and theological persuasions. However, they are folks with whom I can be open, vulnerable and honest. For these reasons, I say with Drake, "Man, I love my team..."

Today I spent the day with a group of United Methodist clergy and leaders. We were asked to discuss at our table where we felt most content, known or something like that. I said, "When I am with my team. It is the place where I don't have to be this guy that you see now. It is the place where I can be vulnerable." I know how blessed I am to have a team. I know how rare it is in our profession to have folks with whom you can be honest, doubtful and real. I really am thankful to God for that and I do not want to ever forget how big of a blessing and rare that is.

To my team: Thank you. I don't take you for granted. You are each evidences of grace in my life. I love you each.

If you don't have a team, get one. That support group will be necessary to you. They will help you see clearly when your life seems like it is over. That team will love you through the darkest time in your life. That team will give you a swift kick when you need it but also be there to give you a long and awkward hug when you need it.

May we each live lives that are spent on others. May we each be the friend to others that we desperately want and need. May we each bind up one another and carry another's burdens.

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