Chip and I had a wonderful week in Springfield, IL at the Assemblies of God District Council. We had a much need break away from home by ourselves. We hadn’t been away from home overnight by ourselves since we flew to Texas last December.
Our lives have been rather crazy lately, so instead of finding someone to eat lunch with on Wednesday afternoon, we came home instead and stopped for lunch by ourselves at Steak & Shake. It was a wonderful lunch and we were able to talk about a lot of the things that God spoke into our lives this week. But that will require many, many more posts.
As we sat there eating our lunch, we couldn’t help but overhear two ladies sitting behind Chip. They weren’t exactly being quiet as they talked. And we couldn’t help but listen in when they started talking about someone we know. This person is someone we would count an “almost friend” – someone that we run in the same circles and share enough about our lives that we are more than acquaintances, but not quite friends. But then they started making comments about her dad – who is a friend of ours. It was kind of weird to have them talking about people we knew. Especially since he’s an area pastor.
But then – and oh, you knew there had to be a but – they skipped over to another church in town. A church pastored by friends of ours and began to talk about THAT church and called the pastor’s wife by name. It went from weird to weirder.
We continued our lunch and really weren’t trying to listen. These ladies were just that loud. When all of a sudden, they start talking about a church in Tuscola that is also pastored by a friend of ours. I could *not* believe my ears. We had just seen all three of these pastors *that day*! From the church in Tuscola, they moved to another denomination and began talking about the Church of God. Now, I don’t know the current pastor, but I do know people who have pastored that church before (both a former senior pastor and a former youth pastor). They were talking about how the services were too long and yada, yada, yada. It was just weird.
And THEN – oh yes, there is more – they started talking about how they had made all of these “new changes” (and they didn’t mean it in a good way) at the Assembly of God church in Mattoon. Yep. Friends with those pastors too – both the resigning one and the new senior pastor elect. Both of whom we’d seen at various times that week too.
It was one of those most ridiculous things I’ve ever experienced. I mean, the chances of us hearing someone talk about even one of those people are kind of remote. But to hear all of them talked about within the space of half an hour? It was nuts.
We left before they did. I was too gobsmacked to say anything to them, although in hindsight I kind of wish I would have. There is no telling how many more people’s names I would have recognized before they were done. I snapped a picture of them – if they show up at our church on Sunday, I think I’ll put out a “Gone Fishin'” sign.
But it taught me a valuable lesson. I need to make sure that I’m always conscious of the things that I’m talking about. Because I never know who might be listening. And I should always be mindful of Who is listening.