Have I ever told you about the time I was engaged in a 14 hour conversation? This conversation that started with three people, dwindled to two and eventually (with the aid of a stranger) finished with three? Stop me if you’ve heard this one…
A few years ago, while I was living in North Texas, I was a member of the Village Church and a member of a home group (Coley’s home group, or the Lewisville Single Guys 25ish-30+ Home Group to be terribly specific). Our home (or small, cell, life, care, etc) group was on the brink of overflowing which led to the invention of small, small groups–rotating groups of 2-3 guys that would meet outside of regular home group time–which was a brilliant idea because a small group of 15-20 guys can’t even share a meal together let alone “do life” together. That’s the background.
If you’ve never eaten at a Waffle House, you are missing out on an interesting cultural experience. It’s Saturday morning, 10AM, and I’m meeting with my small (small) group for breakfast and to just catch up. Aaron and Tres and I share a meal and a few laughs. About an hour later, Tres has to leave leaving Aaron and I chatting in the parking lot. I don’t remember exactly what we talked about, but I’m absolutely positive it involved government and the Church and that it was a “lively” conversation. Aaron was, at one time in life, on the debate team, and I just like to argue. After standing in the parking lot of Waffle House for a few hours, we thought it best to move our conversation to a local Starbucks.
If you’ve never spent 9 hours at your local Starbucks, then you’re totally not getting your money’s worth. I think I bought 1 drink the entire time we were there. We sat inside, we moved outside, then back inside talking about politics and religion and music. A lady even offered an answer to a random trivia question that had escaped both of us. I would say she was listening in, but it was more like got tired of trying to tune us out. And then we began talking about our church and the great things going on there and in China. That is when a complete stranger put down her book and confessed that our conversation was more interesting than what she was reading and asked to join in. After warning her that this was now hour 8 or 9 of our “discussion”, our group was back at three. We’re talking about books and God and music and movies and overseas mission trips. That’s when the polite (and rather tolerant) Starbucks staff kicked us out at 10pm. Realizing that we hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, and with so much left to be said, the three of us decided that IHOP was the only logical solution.
If you’ve never been to IHOP after 10pm… wait, has anyone been to IHOP before 10PM? Our conversation picks up where it left off only now we have food to sustain us. As Sunday morning rolls around ,(1am-ish) Aaron, our new friend Anna, and I decide to call it a night and we head our separate ways. Actually, Aaron had to drive me back to Waffle House to get my car–which thankfully was still there. We fought the urge to head back into Waffle House for round two.
I learned three very important lessons from this marathon conversation:
1. Always discuss politics and religion. Yes, it is painful and yes people’s feelings will get hurt, but anything that is of any importance and worth discussing will eventually be painful and will eventually hurt people’s feelings.
2. Always talk to strangers. Even the strange guys discussing everything under the sun at Starbucks.
3. Always eat lunch. Seriously, I mean, we didn’t do anything but talk ALL day and somehow we MISSED lunch!? Honestly, I’m ashamed of myself…