family and friends
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Every Sunday, our family takes some time to have fun and relax. We call it Sunday Funday. This could be something as extravagant as staying in a hotel over the weekend and splurging on an adventure or something as simple as having a BBQ full of music, laughter, and great food. This past Sunday, we watched our kids have a successful outing in flag football and on the ride home decided Sunday Funday would be seeing the new Avengers movie at the drive-in. Yes, the drive-in still exists.

I loaded up the pick up truck with a gymnastics mat, blankets, chairs, and pillows. We arrived with about 30 minutes to spare; enough time to grab food from the snack shack, turn the bed of the truck into a cloud of marshmallows so all would be comfortable, and pray for the slight drizzle to stop before it turned into a full-on downpour. As the family unloaded to grab snacks, I stayed behind to set up the experience with all the blankets and pillows. Standing in the bed of the truck, I heard my name being yelled across the massive blacktop parking lot. It was my wife and all three of my boys yelling and pointing to something in the sky. As I tried to understand what they were pointing out, I followed the waving arms to my right and saw the biggest and brightest rainbow I have ever seen in my life. It was magnificent. You could see each color as clear as day, as it arched over the drive-in parking lot.

Once I waved back to let them know I saw it too, their excitement grew. Suddenly, the meaning of family pierced my heart like the vivid colors of the rainbow. Family and friends are an extension of self. We all know this and hopefully most of you feel it as well.
Family and friends are another set of eyes to point out the brilliance of the world or caution you to the dangers of the wild.

Family and friends are another set of ears to listen to the world around you. Family and friends are another set of mouths to praise your efforts, support you during tough times, and tell you when you’re putting yourself or others at risk.

Family and friends are additional hearts to love you, care for you, and warm your soul. When family and friends are aligned with the same purpose, one of love and compassion, life is ten times easier and a thousand times more beautiful.

It can often feel as though we walk this Earth alone, in fear of the impending dangers that lurk around every corner. When you have family and friends on your side, it’s like having a look out at the top of each intersection. If you aren’t lucky enough to have such alignment in your family, it’s time you create that alignment, start a family of your own, or take a look at your true friends.
Take the time to make right, any wrongs within the family. Take the time to check up on your friends. Take the time to love your partner and cherish the blessing of having children. Take the time. Take the time. Do it now, for you never know when it may be the last opportunity.

As this rush of insight hit me, I stood in the truck, and took a peek at everyone else in the parking lot. They were all preparing their family, loved ones, and friends for a joyous experience at the drive-in. I gained a sense of togetherness, not just with my family but with all families.

We are all trying our best in this world. Stack the deck in your favor by realizing what family and friends truly are: another heart, eyes, ears, and a voice to tell you to look up! When you do, you see the beauty of it all.


Guest post by Antonio M. Harrison. Antonio has a Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis and is stated board certified at the Doctorate level. He has also been a high varsity football coach for over a decade. A troubled youth with his Father dealing with addiction and incarceration has been the driving force behind his pursuit of service to others through his writing, professional work, and service. Antonio is a Father of three boys and husband to a supportive wife.

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