March 8th, 2011

cook with fire

Well and truly launched

We had six of us for our first session of Real Men Cook with Fire, the nine-week, experimental men's program I designed for our younger men. We laughed and talked and ate some great chow. It was good. May our tribe increase.

Tonight, we talked about Work. I began by asking each person to tell a story about his first "real job." After hearing all those stories, I said a wee bit about how we use Work to define who we are. When you meet someone for the first time, people don't ask you, "Where are you from?" or "Who are your people?" They ask, "What do you do?" So I asked them to talk about their Work: how they wound up doing it, what they liked about it (or didn't), and so on.

When we'd finished those stories, I summed up by saying that there are two images of Work in the Bible. Adam, exiled from the garden to eat his bread in the sweat of his face illustrates one common view of Work: drudgery. On the other hand, Bezalel and Oholiab were just a couple of guys -- ordinary craftsmen -- whom God called by name, and gave skill to, to make the Tabernacle and all its furnishings. So even ordinary work can be done unto God; can be a Call; can be ennobling.

And that was it. An easy evening, with everybody talking, everybody at ease, and something to think about on the way home. I think I'm onto something. Guys have important stuff to say, and I'm trying to give them a chance to say it. I'll deliver the punch line, so to speak, but they'll teach each other the lesson.