Tearing the seed corn off ear by ear in the hot summer sun, I started to question why I took this miserable temporary job and more importantly where I was headed. Temp job after temp job, party after party, I just never really seemed to ascend to much of anything. I had been filling out applications for real full time jobs for the past 2 months but nobody was really hiring and on top of everything I had been kicked out of my apartment because I was over due on rent. Working silently I thought about my close friends and where their lives were leading them. Were they happy? One person in particular seemed to have it all figured out and even when he didn't he had this strange confidence about him. Coincidently I saw him on main street later that evening. I yelled, “hey Sawyer!” smiling as he turned around to greet me he replied, “aye bro! What are you doing tonight?” “Nothing yet, why?” I asked. “Would you come to my Connection group this evening?” Seeing as I had no plans I reluctantly agreed. What in the world was I thinking? Why had I agreed to go talk about God with people I didn't even know?
As a kid I grew up going to my local Lutheran Church with my family every Sunday but to me it was sort of a waste time. I had enjoyed the summer camps as a child and I knew most of the bible stories, yet,It never seemed that real. I hopped into Sawyers old 98' Pontiac Bonneville and on the way to Connection Group we talked on and off about random things. As we neared the apartment that Group was taking place I started to feel anxious and a little bit scared of what these people would think of me. I felt as if I had no right to be there, after all I partied all the time, swore like it was my first language and also had probably more than my share of one night stands. As Sawyer opened the door to the apartment I quickly scanned the room looking for people I knew. Maybe 2 or 3 I recognized from high school but the rest of them (around 12-15) were new to me. I awkwardly kicked off my dirtied running shoes and sat down on a bean bag on the outside of the circle of guys. They introduced themselves, all very friendly, eager to meet me. I was surprised because I had half expected hostility being the new guy. We then got on with group, sharing our happy's and crappy's. Basically what went well in your week and what didn't. When it came to be my turn I said, “my happy for the week is that I came to Group tonight and met you guys, because honestly I haven't had much going for me lately. And my crappy is that I was kicked out of my apartment because I couldn't make rent.” At that moment a guy whose name is DJ came up to me with a huge grin and told me I could move in with him for free until I got everything straightened out. I was shocked! He didn't even know me and yet offered me a place to live! What were these guys on? They were unbelievably friendly and had offered me a place to live for free! Whatever they were on I wanted in. As group progressed over the next hour I became much more comfortable and for once I actually listened to the Group leader. He talked about the importance of humility and forgiveness and also about the power of prayer. One of the verses that gave me hope for this new lifestyle and that was about to change me was, 2 Corinthians 5:17 which read, “ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” After hearing this message I was overcome with a desire to want to know more. I felt as if I had already been renewed just listening to it. I officially signed up for the Connection group eager to learn about the Word. As I was signing up my Group leader came up to me and asked if I was interested in attending the retreat that coming weekend and said that he would pay the $80 registration fee for me if I needed. This was just getting better and better! The Group leader called everyone back in and we had our ending prayer. They prayed for me and my situation. They