Friday, July 28, 2006
REAL FRIENDS OR NOT?
Most who know me, are aware that I've been a bachelor for quite a while. My bachelor life constisted of the usual bachelor traits, sports, cold beer, a big cigar now and again, paper plates, barbecue, weekly card games, and commiserating with other fellow bachelors. When I moved to the small country town that I call home, I got to know the guys at the corner tavern after work, tip a cold one, watch the current games on the tube, and laugh. As they got to know me, they learned that I was a pretty fair cook, and they started to stop by for my impromptu BBQ's, hang with me if I was wrenching on my cars (or whatever) The small circle of bachelor friends always seemed to know where the others were on any given day. Saturdays, one of my friends, who answered to "Bones", opened his doors to his "Casino". We all got together, he dealt Blackjack, cooked hotdogs, drank beer, and joked around all afternoon. Sometimes, he had two TV's going, and if need be, the radio also; bringing whatever games of the day; Baseball, Golf, Football, whatever was on. They bet on everything, aware of the "spreads" and kidding each other all day over who was winning (or otherwise) This has been going on since I moved to Palmyra. Hanging with Bones, Sneaky, Skip, Bird, Bud. The rest had normal names for some reason! Their life revolves around sports, gambling, beer, and hot dogs.
The past couple o years, they knew that I was getting closer to Jesus. I never pushed my witnessing on them; I knew better. But for the most part, they did not kid me about it. They were aware that I was playing my guitar at church, the past couple of years. About six months ago, I started playing at two churches on Sunday, so they saw change in the works. The Sunday routine for me was playing two churches, and Bones, bartend at one of the local bars. On Monday, Bones and I would talk on the phone, and recount our Sunday.
About three weeks ago, I announced that I was not going to drink anymore, or smoke, and most of them agreed that it wasn't a bad thing. But I noticed from then on, that there haven't been any impromptu visits to my house, BBQ or "Casino" invites. My phone messages have gone unanswered, and I got quite a bit of slack when I stopped at the corner bar, and ordered N/A beer. I've been trying to line up a rondeyvous to view the baseball game tonight, but, everyone's got other plans! Coincidence, or avoidance?
Thank you, Jesus, for coming into my life. I wondered what obstacles I'd encounter from taking you to the next level, and I guess this is one slight form of persecution. COOL!!!