The lake at Fall Creek Falls looks and feels different on Saturday morning than it does on Friday. In fact, everything at the Falls looks and feels different the day after the final BRI session. A few people have lagged behind, milking the most of their cabin rentals and taking an extra day to relax, but for the most part, you know that the voices of children you hear are most likely those of someone else’s children. The cars you pass on the road are not familiar, and the cafeteria is once again filled with strange faces.

In some ways, BRI is akin to the total solar eclipse our planet will experience in just a couple of weeks. Totality is a magnificent experience. But it only lasts a short moment, and then it’s over, until the next time. The sun suddenly looks normal again, and moon will cross that path again, but not for a while. Fortunately, BRI gathers once a year, not once every 60 or 70 or so.

In other ways, the BRI magic never ends. It’s more than a conference, right? It’s a relationship. As I sat on my cabin porch Saturday morning, reflecting on the week, and on my BRI family and my experience over the past 10 gatherings, I grew evermore thankful.  We love each other. We celebrate each other. We correct each other when needed, but in love, and friendship, and support. We embrace each other’s imperfections. We hold one another up when times get hard, and we don’t let each other fail.

Everyone should have such a thing as BRI in their lives. Many do not, which is why we all do what we do for a living. For my part, I plan to try to connect more with my BRI friends throughout the year. I hope you will all share in that goal.

Until “next time!”