Because I enjoy connecting with others through writing, I have incorporated journaling into my treatment groups. It is a great way for me to get to know each client a little better. Once they understand the journal never gets shared in group sessions, they tend to be more open and free in their response to whatever question I might ask.
And one of my favorite questions is: If you could spend an evening with any five people (living or dead), who would they be and why?
I love the the variety of responses to this question. The answers usually include famous musicians, artists, historical figures, deceased family members, and of course, many include Jesus in their top five.
So far the most original answer I have gotten came from a young man who included in his five: "myself." Turns out he wanted to get to know himself better. I thought that was pretty insightful for a fifteen-year-old.
One night last week someone asked me what my five choices would be. I couldn't answer off the top of my head, but now that I have had time to think it through, here are the five people I would love to spend an evening with and why...
1. NICK VUJICIC, I CANNOT THINK OF ANYONE MORE INSPIRING! HE WAS BORN WITHOUT ARMS OR LEGS...WHAT DO I HAVE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT?! HE EVEN LOOKS LIKE I THINK JESUS WOULD LOOK!
2. BRENE BROWN, I ADMIRE HER WORK AND HER ABILITY TO TOUCH OTHERS WITH HER WORDS.
3. TOBY MAC, FANTASTIC CHRISTIAN ROCK ARTIST, MARRIED FATHER OF FIVE AND, IN MY OPINION, ONE REALLY COOL GUY!
4. DR. MARY NEAL, AUTHOR OF "TO HEAVEN AND BACK". I WOULD LOVE TO PICK HER BRAIN ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE!
5. ALEX KENDRICK: ASSOCIATE PASTOR AT SHERWOOD BAPTIST CHURCH IN ALBANY, GEORGIA AND CREATOR OF FILMS SUCH AS FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, AND COURAGEOUS. I ADMIRE THAT HE CHOOSES TO CREATE MOVIES WITH STRONG POSITIVE MESSAGES.
So what do my TOP FIVE choices say about me?
When I look at this group of people I think they are among those who have really figured out what our life's journey is all about. They value relationships. They use their life experience and God-given talents, whether it be written words, speaking in front of others, or making music or movies, to engage people about the essence of life: Relationship with God and others.
This is not to say my Top Five picks don't encounter stress, anxiety, tension, or any other life challenges. It means that even when they are in the midst of those challenges, they realize there is something greater going on.
In all honesty, my choices would have been different five years ago than they are today. I hadn't even heard of any of these people back in 2008. But, I wasn't necessarily looking for inspiration at that time either.
In the past few years, I have begun to really see that I want to fill my life with others who feel that same way about life. And although I may never actually have the pleasure of personally meeting any of my choices, I take comfort in knowing they continue to use their gifts to spread a wonderful message to those who are open to hearing it.
So, just out of curiosity, who would your TOP FIVE be, and why?