Chuck Swindoll says that at all times we should strive to have at least one Paul, Barnabas and a Timothy in our lives. A Paul, someone further in the journey that can show us the way and encourage us to stay the course. A Barnabas, someone who we are walking with that is at a similar stage in life that we are. And a Timothy, someone younger than us who we are pouring our lives into.
I have been blessed to have multiple men in each of these types of friendships over the years. My friend Chuck stands out as a Paul in my life. I met Chuck at a Young Life leadership night that some friends of mine invited me to. He was the staff person in charge and I was the young college student that had life figured out. Chuck saw something in me, believed in me and began to pour his life into me. He taught me the importance of getting time with Jesus. Taught me how to go onto a high school campus and engage in relationship with high school kids. He taught me how to lead songs. He taught me how to play frisbee golf. He walked with me through some dark days of confronting my past and encouraged me toward Christian counseling. He believed in me and invited me into a full-time ministry position.
I still remember that summer day in his backyard like it was yesterday. It was a hot summer day a week after we got back from taking a bus load of kids to Young Life camp. We invited all of the kids over to his house for slip and slide and dessert. Sitting there sopping wet surrounded by teenagers with scriptures open in his backyard the scene was set. His wife and two kids walked out of the back door to the yard and I realized what I wanted. I wanted that scene. Wife and kids, investing my life in others, doing it as a partnership with my bride.
Even though I have moved far away to continue to pursue the call of investing my life in others, Chuck remains as a Paul in my life.