topher

The other day, Alan and Ed and I met at Urban Mill for a moring of work. Work’s been pretty stressful lately, and I was pleasantly surprised that working there with them soothed my soul a lot. It was a dark and stormy morning, but Alan got us a corner seat in the cooshy chairs, by the fire, and by the Christmas trees. Unfortunately (and previously unbeknownst to me) WCSG was having a live remote there, and pretty much everyone who works with me was there. But they didn’t bother me too much, and they went away eventually.

So, here I’m going to start Part One of my theory.

I’m a geek. I like techie things; reading about them, talking about them, watching them on TV, etc. I get excited about new stuff, and the first thing I want to do is share it with someone who will be just as excited as I am. That’s a fundamental element of the human psyche I think. We all want to share things that excite us with people who will be equally excited.

Unlike my previous job, where I got to hang out all day with people who understood my interest, even if not equally excited all the time, my current job doesn’t really have anyone who’s into technology. My loving wife listens when I have things to tell her, but as wonderful and tolerant as she is, she’s not a geek.

This means I value my time with other geek friends. It’s a time to talk about it, hash it out, discuss implications, etc. At times I feel like that’s all I talk about with them, since I look forward to those times, and for that I apologize. I actually make an effort to talk about other things when I think about it. πŸ™‚

So to sum up Part One, there’s something I’m very interested in, I study it, and when I’m with other people who are interested, we talk deeply about it, and hopefully learn from each other.

Thus begins Part Two. Several years ago I was driving with my friend John and we were talking about why some churches feel so stale. What is it that makes them that way? It occured to me that it’s the lack of excitment. People go to church because it’s what you do, not because of any real interest in what’s really going on there.

A really alive church is one made up of people who need a weekly time to come together to tell their equally interested and excited friends about what they’ve been learning in their own study time. Granted, sunday morning may not be the time to do that, many churches form small groups for that sort of thing.

The moral of the story is that I was immediately convicted by my own statement. I spend lots of time studying geeky stuff, and that’s what I talk about with my friends. How much time do I spend studying God? Not enough, that’s for sure. Do I talk about Him with my friends? I don’t remember the last time I had a good solid deep conversation about Him with someone I know well.

So, I’m going to try to pull together a couple people to get together with one a week or so. One of the reasons I stay interested in geeky stuff is that I stay on top of it. If I stay on top of something like Bible study, I know I could get excited about it again. There’ve been times when I’ve been just as excited about Bible study as I am about geek study. Homiletics class was probably the high point of my life in that regard (Thanks Mr. Brew!).

Anyone interested in such a thing? I don’t have anyone in mind at this point, nor a time. One of the reasons I posted this in such an open way is that it’ll sit out there in the public, reminding me that I said I was going to do this. If I don’t, I’ll be forever embarassed. πŸ™‚

2 thoughts on “The way it oughtta be

  1. Interesting stuff!

    I’m not convinced though that being geeked about something, always interested in what is “new” about it, and chatting excitedly about it with fellow enthusiasts, is inherently superior to a quiet, consistent, and lifelong pursuit of the same thing, though.

    One of the greatest computer scientists that ever lived is Don Knuth. (He’s also a committed Christian, by the way, so he’s very topical for this post.) He doesn’t keep up with all the latest developments in programming theory, much less Slashdot or even Lambda the Ultimate. He works out deep problems that have been around for years, decades, slowly and carefully and quietly. He writes gigantic and precise books whose relevance does not fade.

    I don’t know if he spends much time on the web, but I do know he doesn’t even have an email address. No email address. He’s almost the opposte of a “geek” like Larry Wall, say, or even Linus Torvalds. But his work is no less important and probably in the long run much more important than anything they’ve done.

    Just wanted to challenge the idea that being “geeked about” something is necessarily the best way to be devoted to it. That’s not even necessarily true in computers, so we shouldn’t assume it has to be true about Christianity.

  2. I hear what you’re saying Toph. I have heard it said that association is the second most powerful force on earth… next to God of course. Amelia and I have found a good small group that we meet with once a month here in Brandon. That has made a big difference in a lot of ways.

    On another note. Now that I have moved, I don’t have anyone to share the tech news with! I miss that! I have been doing a lot of CSS stuff as you know, and I have no one to share it with. Also, I know I learned a TON when hanging with you, and talking web stuff. I’ll have to find that kind of connection here in FL.

    BTW, great BLOG. I have bookmarked it, and will be checking back often.

    Catch ya later bro!

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