Ever have one of those days/series of days, where it seems like you hear about the same thing from 10 different & totally unrelated sources? Me too. Last weeks accountability post was birthed out of a long series of interactions with people on the idea of ‘men’s ministry…’ something that has been about as attractive to me as playing in a Sani-Hut – I’ve not identified in the slightest with the Promise Keepers type man events… & the very thought of going to a stereotypical ‘men’s meeting’ has never appealed to me – & hasn’t been something that I’d want to be a part of.
I know that there are those that think, “Hey, you’re a pastor. You should (or at least your church should) have a Men’s Ministry.” I don’t agree – doing something just because its expected or because “this is what churches do” isn’t valid reasoning to me – if I didn’t believe in it, why would I fake it?
Yesterday, I was given a book by a friend – called Samson & The Pirate Monks. I ended up finishing it last night, & I would heartily recommend it to you – esp. if you’re a guy who hates (translation: isn’t “INTO” mens stuff.) I think what the author has created & is living out is do-able & even transferable from location to location… & sounds like something that I would want to go to, to prioritize, to evangelize about…
Friendship is a two-way street… It used to bug me when it seemed like I was carrying both sides of a relationship…. & it never occurred to me that if I was the only one calling, writing, trying to get together/keep in touch, that maybe, just maybe what we had wasn’t actual friendship. And when I came to that realization, rather than getting bugged or worked up, I had my epiphany & embraced it.
On that note, I’m ‘reminiscing’ about the Guy who came to our house for a College Group meeting… musta been about 5 years ago now. He came with his girl, & sat down at our kitchen table. He stood out because instead of facing the people in the room, he faced the wall. At least 3 people attempted to talk to him at various points in the meal, but its a hard thing to A) have a 1-way conversation, & B) to talk to someone who won’t look at you & is facing the wall. It was weird.
We moved from the kitchen to the living room, & the Guy, with his girl, left. Walked out. Hmm. More strange things afoot at the Circle K, but hey, there are all kinds of people in the world, & I just met one.
After the meeting, I checked my email, & lo & behold! I had received an email from the Guy. It was a long one; so long that I printed it out to be able to read the whole thing. He was writing to upbraid me & our clique of ‘so-called Christians’ – because he hadn’t been made to feel welcome. (Why it took 3 pages of vitriol & venom to say that, I don’t know, but it did.) It fired me up – because I saw what had happened that evening… normally, I would have just let it go, let it lie, but not this time. I wrote back a short response – & told him that I had a different perception of that evening, of the people in attendance, & also the responsibility that every single one of us has to ‘engage’ at some level.
Its a hard thing to watch.
I think that the christianity that I grew up on doesn’t reflect Biblical Christ-following, in that a large part of the emphasis has been on one’s “personal relationship with God through Jesus,” which has morphed into a “private” relationship with Jesus… as though we can work on & through a ‘relationship with God & Jesus” apart from interacting with people.
In actuality, my relationship with Christ is SHOWN by how I interact with others – how I treat my family. The way I value & show respect to others, even when (especially when?) they don’t agree with me. Its a farce to think that I can go read my Bible, pray, & then treat the humanity around me like crap, all the while thinking, “I’m growing as a christian.”
I think there’s a few posts in there.
My stomach hurts & I’m a little frustrated… or maybe disappointed. Not sure I can put a finger on it, or even if I need to.
Dude, for second I thought you were talking about me. But I ignore people in an outgoing manner.
Put your finger on this!
It is a hard thing to watch. Especially up close and personal.
I have from time to time realized the very same things about friends. One way streets happen in friendships from time to time because of one being more drained than the other but in the end it has to end up back in balance.
Good stuff Louie. Really good stuff.
Also appreciated the reminder about walking out our relationship to Jesus with the help of each other.