So there we were. The elusive Donna and I were looking for a table in a room full of tables to sit down and eat our lunch. Complication: the tables were already full. We scanned the room and I spotted two open seats but hesitated. The Elusive spotted the same seats and suggested we sit there. I followed while I tried to come up with something really smart or clever or important to say.
We knew the couple at the table. The Mrs. had spoken at our church before and had been a speaker for one of our ladies retreats. I had been included in a couple discussion groups that the Mr. had been included in both as participant and as a facilitator. Donna sat down on the Mrs. side. I sat beside the Mr. Conversation followed but I just kept trying to come up with some really cool way to say to the Mr., “I loved your commentary on 2 Peter…” or “I’m totally digging the New Living Translation that you were a part of…” or “Your presentation on interpretation of the text was amazing…” And slowly I came to the realization that I had a Theology Crush on the Mr. and I was just as tongue-tied as I was when I tried to ask the elusive Donna out on our first date.
(For the record, I called her once and talked about nothing for 20 minutes until I finally lost my nerve completely and hung up. I hit my head on the cinderblock wall and told myself I was going to miss something great if I didn’t call her back right then. Which I did. And got right to the point and she, to the surprise of both of us, said yes, she would go out with me. Score.)
But here I am at 46 and I was trying to think of something really great to say and to talk about his work, sound smart and talk about my hope to someday take some courses from him…when I realized he’d just asked me a question. Time IS relative because I know it slowed waaaaay down at that second that stretched on and on. Finally I came out with some nonsensical reply that may or may not have been appropriate. I was completely conscious of the fact that I was sitting beside someone who would give me some thoughtful, insightful, even brilliant answers to questions I’ve been wrestling with and the most significant contribution I made to the conversation went something like, “Food. Good.”
I’m pretty sure I even embarrassed the Elusive with my complete and total inability to make sense.
After a few more missed attempts to be engaging I said something about still wanting to get the two of them over to the Island which led into a discussion on the weather which was fine but inside I was yelling in my own head, “Say something about 2nd Peter!!! For the love of God, say something about 2nd Peter…” And suddenly our meal was over, time was moving normally again and the opportunity was gone.
So, there it is. My confession. What can I say? The heart wants what the heart wants.
“Theology is practical: especially now. In the old days, when there was less education and discussion, perhaps it was possible to get on with a very few simple ideas about God. But it is not so now. Every one reads, every one hears things discussed. Consequently, if you do not listen to Theology, that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones — bad, mud dled, out-of-date ideas. For a great many of the ideas about God which are trotted out as novelties to-day are simply the ones which real Theologians tried centuries ago and rejected. To believe in the popular religion of modern England is retrogression — like believing the earth is flat.” –Taken from the 23rd chapter of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis