3- Longing for Understanding – The Dinner

When we are struggling to find the answers to the things of life, many times things just don’t seem to make any sense. Even if we do continue to ask questions we find answers hard to come by. Maybe the answers we do get are not what we want to hear. We may just give up and turn our minds off becoming determined to live one day at a time. We look for that comfort we seek, keeping our boat floating in the calm waters. We generally don’t care to have it rocked too much so we stop asking questions. We have accepted life as it exist.

___________________________________________________

“The Dinner”

Joe had just got off work Friday night and made a quick stop at his favorite watering hole for a cold one when he spotted Sarah walking the opposite direction on the other side of the street. He walked on in and sat down, ordered up a cold beer and took a good drink to wash down the work week grime. While sitting there, he recalled the conversation he had with Sarah the week before. Maybe he should give her a call and see if she would like to go out to dinner. Who knows, maybe it would be fun. So what if she works for a preacher. About half way through his beer, he told the bar tender he would be right back. Quickly he slid out the side door to the parking lot, opening his car door, he reached into his glove box and retrieved Sarah’s business card. Once he returned, he started to call Sarah on her cell phone but stopped in the middle thinking – what am I doing wanting to take a Christian out to dinner anyway. He took another big swallow of his beer and said – but why not. She is nice enough, quite cute and what harm can it do anyway. So he punched in the phone number and just a couple of rings later he was talking to Sarah.

Hi Sarah. This is Joe. Hi Joe, Sarah replied. I was wondering if you would still like to go out to dinner some evening with me, Joe quickly asked? I’m really happy you called, Sarah replied. I didn’t think I would hear back from you once you found out that I worked for the preacher. Joe quickly interrupted – well I was not sure either, but you are pretty nice and I would like to talk some more. How about tomorrow night around seven o’clock, Joe asked? I can pick you up if you like. Where would you like to eat. How about that new restaurant just outside of town, Sarah replied. I have wanted to try it and I understand it is not too expensive. Sound good to me said Joe. Do you still live at home. Yes, same place. What can I say. It does save a lot of money, but I do pay my Mom some room and board now that I am working full-time. College was so expensive.

Ok, pick you up at seven o’clock, Joe stated. See you tomorrow, replied Sarah.

The next day rolled around and before either of them knew it, they were on their way to the restaurant. As they drove along, Joe and Sarah exchanged some small talk about work the last week and just little tidbits they thought of. Joe had called ahead and made a reservation requesting a table off to the side where they could openly talk should they get into a discussion that Joe was sure would come up; at least in the back of his mind he wanted it to. Once they arrived, their waiter escorted them to their table, gave them the menu’s, explained the specials and said he would be right back with the water. He asked if they would like something else to drink and Joe looking at Sarah and asked what she would like. She replied, just water for now. I would like to decide what I will eat first. Joe followed suit. The waiter returned with the water and took their orders. Sarah ordered the Filet and Joe ordered the T-bone. Along with their stake dinners they both ordered a glass of Merlot and settled into a conversation waiting for their dinner to be served. When the waiter delivered the glasses of wine to the table, Joe finally realized that Sarah was comfortable around an alcoholic drink. With a little sarcasm in his voice he asked how her boss would feel if he was to walk in while they were drinking a glass of wine. Sarah looked directly into Joes eyes and said; you really do have a lopsided view of a Christian don’t you? He may just join us if we asked, commented Sarah. So what are the restriction of your Christian belief anyway, Joe responded. Well it is obviously not what you think Joe. If you really want to know, I will tell you anything you would like to ask. I just ask that you try to listen and don’t make pre-judgmental thoughts before I explain it to you, commented Sarah.

Joe sat back in his chair and thought about what Sarah had just said and after a few short moments he asked her how her meal was changing the subject away from religion. They both continued to finish their meal, talking a little about his love for music and her passion for horses and the outdoors.

A short while later, the waiter was topping off their water and asked if they would like to see the desert menu. They ordered desert and while they were waiting for it, Joe looking directly into Sarah’s eyes – said – alright Sarah – I have cleared my mind of anything negative and I really want to hear your version of what Christianity is about. I really like you and I feel like you will be honest with me. I would like to find out what it is that makes this difference I see in you. I have never felt comfortable enough with anyone to openly ask these questions that keep bothering me. I don’t even know where to start. So just tell me what you can about this God you seem to know.

Sarah looked at Joe and with a smile on her face she said it is easy to know God. It’s not hard. He never laid on a bunch of laws and rules just to make believing in Him difficult and not fun. He did just the opposite. Once He created everything about 6500 years ago, He just said to love one another and appreciate Me for who I am and what I have given you. Not very hard, Sarah commented. Then this world fell apart and became full of evil, so bad that He had Noah build a ship to save what was good and he wiped out the world as it was, changed things in such a way that the past is hard to identify or understand for anyone coming along after the flood, especially today added Sarah. Then as things started to go down hill again, He decided to send His Son who we know as Jesus to explain to us what we needed to do. I would guess that people forgot everything that Noah told them after the flood and people just couldn’t figure it out anymore. Jesus tried to stop all the crazy “man rules” and told everyone to believe in Him. He told us to Love God and love our neighbor just like we would love ourselves. That is basically it. We just have to accept Jesus and ask Him for forgiveness for the crazy bad things we have done in our lives and He will forgive us. We become one of His and we will live with Him forever once we leave this world. You see Joe, not a lot of rules and not very hard to do. We only have to accept His word.

Joe sat in his chair trying to grasp everything Sarah had just told him. Looking across the table he said; what about all this science and the dinosaurs and the big bang and the list goes on that tells us that we evolved which would make your belief totally wrong. I have been taught that this earth is billions of years old. How can what you say be correct? Is science wrong and God right? I am not the smartest cookie in the jar, but they both can’t be right.

Sarah looked at Joe and told him that this subject is a much longer topic than they had time for tonight. Joe quickly stated that he would like to get together again and continue their discussion. I still have doubts about everything you told me, Joe added. Sarah agreed, Joe paid the dinner bill and he took Sarah home.

As they arrived back at Sarah’s driveway, Joe look at her and said you are different, but different in a good way. Sarah reached over and kissed Joe on the cheek  and told him she had enjoyed the evening, the dinner was out of this world, the company was pretty nice also and if he every wanted to talk some more just to give her a call. Joe smiled back and said she would be hearing from him.

to be continued

_______________________________________________________________

Pondering questions

– So is Sarah correct? Are there really only a few rules to being a Christian? What are those rules? What about that crazy comment about the earth being 6500 years old? And what about all those religious rules we always hear about if you were a Christian; can’t drink , can’t dance, can’t go to shows, can’t play cards even. Who made up those rules? Are they all real?

– Joe has his points. Science said they have proof that the earth is billions of years old and the everything evolved and was not created. Do the rules of science get into the way of common sense and rational thinking? Why did Joe feel so uncomfortable when he visited Sarah’s church that Sunday morning and why did he feel the people wanted him to leave when Sarah is just the opposite? Who is this Jesus person anyway? Why does Joe feel that religion is full of rules that take the fun out of life?

Your comments are welcomed

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s