Every Thursday morning for years a group of men meet at the local diner. Combined, these five men have well over an estimated 350 years of life experience. They meet no matter what the weather brings. When one does not show up, there is a concern as to why.
Some of the participants that have been lifelong friends have passed on. A wooden plaque has the names of these men cut out of the wood. I asked how it was done and was told the artist uses a hand scroll saw to do it. I was amazed at the patience this man must have since today many wood workers use the modern technology of lasers to do what he does by hand.
This morning the conversation was about one of the men’s hardwood farm. He talked about saving various hardwood trees that are rare, and that he intended to make a coffee table out of some of the wood. He also showed me a hat with about six names on them. They were the names of his dogs he had during his life.
Another man talked about a married couple coming back to town after being gone for the winter. While yet another brings up a woman who passed whose funeral was later. One man is a listener. Then, there is me– the young whipper snapper at the age of 59.
All these men have a special bond besides being close friends. They are all devoted men of a segment of Christianity. There are Lutheran, Catholic, Methodist, and Presbyterian– then there is me, the Jewish guy. They still make me feel welcome.
It is refreshing to hear people talk about something other than politics. In fact, I have been here in Hanover for three weeks now, and yesterday was the first time I heard anything serious about federal government politics. It is quite peaceful.
We have already ordered our food, and before we eat, a prayer is said to thank God for our day, the food, and those that prepared the food. After breakfast, the bibles come out, and a sheet is passed out with a section of scripture and some questions.
Today’s topic was Romans 13: 1-7 which deals with governing authorities. The authority of man, and of God, and how we deal with both.
One man posed the question– if we are to follow the authority of God and King George was chosen by God to be King, then was the American Revolution a cause that fought the authority of God? An interesting question which there was a good conversation.
Another point brought up is the disrespect for authority by people. He said the President used to be addressed as Mr. President. Now, there is the notion you can just address authority figures by their last name without any title. Instead of President Trump, it’s just Trump or Obama. While many believe the latter doesn’t deserve the title of President before his name, it is a painful reality that he was one.
They told many stories. One was about a canoe race where one of the men in the group was teamed up with a guy that kept tipping the canoe. Needless to say, they didn’t win.
Another story was about a couple that took their dog for water retrieval training and their dog just didn’t get it. So he told them to tie the dog to a tree, and he would have his dog jump in the water to retrieve. After three times of watching his dog do it properly and energetically rewarding the dog with praise, he instructed them to try it with their dog. Their dog jumped in the water and did a successful retrieval. He summed it up that jealousy was a great motivator.
After awhile, it was time to go and continue our day. The pastor in the group closed with a prayer, and we said our goodbyes for the day until we meet again. It’s so nice to know there is a world outside of politics.