my pastor, the great hunter (that’s not a spiritual analogy, he actually does like to hunt and he is pretty great), announced a few weeks ago from the stage with great enthusiasm, “we’re going to have a men’s night and we’ll be having wild game—gator, caribou, venison.”
great, i thought. a thump your chest, “we’re primal men” kind of night.
what’s next? camping?
i’m not a hater if you like those things.
but i’m a little over the all men want to be gladiators thing.
i read wild at heart, and didn’t connect.
i saw the movie gladiator, and was more disturbed by the crowd cheering the gladiators to their death and realizing those of in the audience were doing the same, than feeling like it was the best movie ever.
when i see a field, i think sound of music.
when i see the woods, i think a place to read, write or draw. sit under a tree.
or escape rabid animals.
i don’t have a curiosity about how different animals taste.
i don’t watch duck dynasty and think i wonder what frog would taste like. i don’t think, “that looks delicious.” (and yes, i do watch duck dynasty.)
but i went.
not because it satisfied some kind of inner hunter/gatherer need.
i went because i have a couple of new friends who i knew would be there, alan and scott.
i had a pre-meal at home, just in case. i wasn’t taking any chances.
at the “wild game” night, i ate a caribou slider.
i tried a couple of different venison dishes.
i picked up some fried pheasant. when i couldn’t cut it with a fork, i decided not to put it in my mouth.
scott told everyone that the dove might have a pellet or two in it. yeah, i wasn’t eating the dove.
but the night was about more than a meal.
three guys got up and said why men need other men, and how community helps us grow and become who God wants us to be.
the whole night could have been a standard men’s ministry cliche, but here’s the thing—the guys were 20, 40 and 60. and the 20 year old really seemed to care about the people in the room. i don’t mean that as a slam against 20 year olds, i just don’t find many 20 year olds who feel connected to older adults.
and here’s another thing, when i walked in, my friend scott asked me to help get some food on the table. i just thought they needed an extra hand. but scott told me later he asked me to do it because he knew i needed something to do to feel a little more comfortable.
i was reluctant to go. i was tired. i needed some “me” time.
i had an episode of downton abbey in the dvr waiting on me.
but i’m glad i went. not because i enjoyed the food.
or got in touch with some inner primal man.
but because it’s yet another step in making connections with other guys, something that doesn’t come easily for an introvert like me.
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