What a Long, Strange Trip It Has Been (2/3)
This is the second part of a three-part series. You can read part 1 here.
To make a long story short, we eventually found a church we agreed upon. I attended as a skeptic, but tried to blend in by keeping a low profile. But things began to change. I was intrigued by the pastor and his expository preaching style. He brought the Bible to life in a way I had not ever experienced. Stories that I had heard hundreds of times were explained in the context of which the author had written them in. I now began to understand them. I actually enjoyed and looked forward to each Sunday so I could learn more. I did not share that with anybody, but that is how I felt.
Slowly, I began to let some of these Christians into my personal life. I had built up a stereotype of what I thought they were all like and kept myself as segregated as possible from them. But, I was willing to take a chance and let some in on my own terms. There was another couple with kids our age and we started doing some things together. They even invited me to a Christian concert and I went. It actually wasn’t bad. The guy even did a Neil Young song! Another guy from church invited me to play basketball. I accepted, but only after making sure all they did there was play basketball! Remember, I was still a skeptic.
Basketball season ended and softball started. I was making friends and they were busting up my stereotypes. I actually looked forward to being with them, the same way I looked forward to going to church every Sunday. The pastor (his name was Rich too) invited me and some other guys to his house once a month to try to help us understand what our wives believed, but we didn’t. I guess my low profile thing wasn’t working quite as good as I had hoped.
I wasn’t sure if I should do this, but one of my friends in the neighborhood was invited too, so we made a pact to go together. (Strength in numbers, you know.) It was pretty cool as we picked the topics and Rich answered our questions. No pressure, just good open discussion.
At the same time I had developed a close friendship with one of the guys from basketball and softball. I had actually developed a fair amount of friendships by this time. There was that couple I mentioned earlier, Mike and Vicky, and now this guy, Scott. I liked hanging out with him and he seemed to like hanging out with me. We wound up coaching the softball team together. We played golf together.
I noticed something different in Mike and in Scott. They were good dads and husbands like I wanted to be. These guys had something I didn’t have and I needed to find out what it was.
Read part 3 here.