I love fall. In college, I always loved getting back together with my roommates, my friends, after summer break. I especially loved football, because I especially loved the starting right guard, my future husband, Kurt. At the time I didn’t put too much thought into football. It was something to do on a Saturday afternoon, a chance to root for that right guard.

Kurt and I would eventually marry. That was the “eight years, six months and three days” video. Standing up with us at our wedding would be both roommates and teammates, young men and woman who would be become life-long friends.

Dan and Tom, Gary, Ron and Chuck were all Kurt’s football buddies. And the women in their lives were all benefactors of the coaching they got on the field and off. All of them were/are great guys. As graduates of Coach Westering’s team, a football program spelled “l-i-f-e,” they became the greatest guys. Frosty said that character was the best piece of equipment. I concur.

It’s been more than a few years since our graduations from PLU, since our weddings. We don’t see each other as often as we’d like at times, but we are life-long friends. We’ve been there for each other in ways not expected, not imagined, and we’ll continue to be there for each other in ways not expected, not imagined.

Coach Westering was a dynamic presence, whether exuding enthusiasm over x’s and o’s or sharing an “Atta, boy!” for one of life’s accomplishments. At PLU football was more than just a game. At 21 I couldn’t see that. At 21 I really didn’t appreciate the wisdom and experience around me. Life-long friends would become give me that appreciation, surrounding it all with lessons in gratitude.

Who has given you wisdom and experience? How has God shared lessons in gratitude with you?

Remember: Today’s lesson, today’s experience, even today’s misstep can become tomorrow’s wisdom.  And we all benefit from wisdom ~ yours, mine and ours.