Thursday, December 4, 2014

Name Pending

The Thursday morning coffee group I meet with every week continues to be one of the highlights of my week, even though it is over in an hour or so. I'm still looking for a good name for this group. I've called it Thursday Theologians before, but we're all far from theologians. Most of us have a good understanding of the Bible, but with maybe the exception of one guy, I don't know if I'd classify any of us a theologian. Theological hacks, maybe. Maybe a name like, "guys seeking spiritual enlightenment through the use of caffeine, secular books and private study."

Nah, too long.

I kind of like Theological Hacks. It has a nice ring to it. 

That name is descriptive, yet evoking humility. After all, none of us are experts, but we're all seeking the deeper meaning of the Bible and how it applies in our broken, crazy contemporary world. We're hacking our way through it and it's a great adventure.

Anyhow, as I was saying, in the words of one of them, these guys a my tribe. We get together weekly for an hour to talk about a book we're working through, or at least that's what we intend - doesn't always happen that way. The morning typically starts out with where we're at in our week, sick kids, car troubles, work woes, etc. It is a dumping ground that way, but only for a few minutes. Because we only have an hour, there isn't much time to dwell on any one issue. And yet, it gives each of us a chance to air our grievances (and successes and joys as well) and at least get them off our chest. 

Because it's just an hour and we're all over the map with what we talk about it's kind of like a relational coffee-based tweet. Great substance, but limited to 3600 seconds. 

Like this morning we talked at decent length about car repairs, specifically the ease of replacing brakes on a car - something I've never done, but which I'm told is fairly simple. We talked about ball joints, wheel bearings and the difference between drum and disc brakes. Guy talk no doubt, but all fairly engaging. 

Cafe De Arts


But after a half hour of that, somehow we turn back to the book, in this case Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown. We talked a bit about that and the conversation turned, as it does so often, to current events. In this case the topic turned to Ferguson and the NY Eric Garner choking case. We all agreed the country is in disarray and it is largely the result of no accountability. 

Ultimately we differed as to some of the causes and solutions, but we all agreed that violence begets violence and that until our culture deals with that we'll have another Ferguson or Newtown or Boston Marathon or fill-in-the blank next year.  The great thing is we know each other well enough that no one has to "win" the argument. (I hesitate to call it an argument, maybe discussion is better.) We agree to disagree in some cases. 

As I said, the topics vary from week to week. For a while we were stuck in gay marriage and how the church should address it. We talk about service we've done, interesting Christian "celebrities" we come in contact with and our jobs. We talk about what we do outside of our jobs for fun, Things like photography, music and writing. 

Where you at with the book?

Where's your next music gig?

How's your photography business going?"

We pay service to our family lives too. We talk about the craziness that holidays bring out of family events. We talk of travels to and from the faraway places we call "home". We discuss our marriages and all the ups and downs of parenting. 

The group is a bit of the antithesis of a men's group I was in years ago at church. That group's focus was supposed to be accountability, study and prayer. It got to be fairly legalistic, cloistered and eventually, politically charged to the point that I stopped going. I wanted no part of an us vs. them group. It's us. The world out there, is US, not them. All of us.

So this group gives me all three of those things in a much more accepting, comfortable environment. We support, challenge, and pray for each other, but much of our contact during the week is by proxy; email, facebook and twitter. On the flip side, any of us would help the other out if we needed it.  

Occasionally the group meets on Thursday night for a beer at a local place. The talk is just as stimulating but comes with an added edge of relaxation. Again, everything from auto repair to discussions the movie Noah to the militarization of our police force. 

Yep, Thursday mornings are all good, and I'm happy to be a part of them. 

Blogging off...

No comments: