…on conversations with friends…

beer-on-table1I met a friend for beers at a local grill last night.  He had endured a rough couple of weeks…the pre-mature and tragic death of a family friend, various faith frustrations.  I’m dealing with my own frustrations at the moment and those were touched on as well in our conversation.  It wasn’t a gripe session, a counseling session, or “ministry” in the sense of a “reportable activity for Mike Young…Ordained Baptist Minister” (billable hours as my attorney friends might put it).  It was simply a couple of friends in conversation about things deeper than college football recruiting classes, steroids in baseball, or Duke/Carolina basketball.  It was not a flash email or text or cell phone call.  It was actual face-to-face friendship.  It was a spontaneous, 2-hour, mutual pause in the busyness of life between two friends.  It was meaningful conversation.  It was “ministry” in the sense that we were followers of Jesus living life together.
Why is this blog worthy?  Maybe it isn’t.  However I follow that question with another:  When was the last time you did that…had a meaningful conversation about real stuff…transparent, open and honest…with a good friend?  Where did it occur?  For you church people…I’m guessing it probably wasn’t at church (An assumption on my part but I feel confident in its accuracy).  Why is that?

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5 thoughts on “…on conversations with friends…

  1. …because people don’t feel they can be “real” at church. I learn a whole helluva lot more about my friends when I have them over for dinner than I do at church. Your post is right on the money. Thanks for putting these thoughts in print. I hope I was able to offer as much soothing to your frustrations as you did to mine. Thanks for being there. It was a subtle healing that I really needed. You are a true reflection of the heart of Jesus.

  2. I’m glad you guys had a chance to get together!! A little bit jealous, yes! To answer your question: It has been a long time ago that I had such conversations in person. Our meetings at Fast Jack’s come to mind as well as the Wednesdays at my house. You are right: they have yet to occur at a church. There are occasional glimpses of these type of conversations here. With closer friends I always feel like I have to be careful. At church I’m not connected. At work I do have these conversations because of the great diversity of backgrounds and because the reality of life begs to think about life and faith in new ways, in a ‘practice vs. system of beliefs’ kinds of way.

  3. Hey Mike,

    Love the picture. Of course girls always have meaningful conversations anytime and any place. The park, the grocery store, the grocery store parking lot, the driveway, etc. But I’ve been really happy for Brian lately He’s been meeting with some men from church (including our associate pastor) over a beer at Fennigan’s Wake. He said they have church right in the middle of the bar, because they get real together and have fun sipping imported brewskys

  4. In view of our upcoming meeting here is something to ponder:

    “Do I believe in God?”

    “You know, I’ve never been able to answer that question because I’ve never been able to figure out what the question means. I don’t really know what it means to believe in God. Is that just thinking the right things about God or do emotions factor into it as well? What if a person loved God SO much – just the whole idea of God – but if you pressed her, what if she admitted that she wasn’t sure that God was real? Would that person be a believer or an unbeliever? What if you believed in God, say, three times a week on average, for several years. Just three or four times a week you’d say, ‘Yes, there has to be a God.’ But then other times it didn’t seem like there was a God. You see what I mean? I know this sounds silly, but I still don’t understand the question. Everybody else seems to have answered the God question by the time they were 10 or 12, and run to the ends of the earth with their answers. And here I am still trying to figure out the question.

    “I will tell you this. I never gave my soul to anyone. They didn’t get it. Not your father or the church or science or any other man-made thing. I saved it for God, if there is a God. My soul is as innocent and tender as a peach. And it’s ripe for the picking. God can pick it himself, if he wants it, thank you very much. I don’t need any damn middle men.”

    excerpt from Real Live Preacher blog.

    Not sure this is the right thread but here it is.

    H

  5. H
    That is very good stuff…I don’t get to real live preacher very often, but I should. I think those are the questions. I’m not sure I can say what he says in the last paragraph: “I never gave my soul to anyone…” I’m pretty sure peach doesn’t describe my soul anymore. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you in T’loosa.

    Peace!

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