Thursday, October 16, 2014

One of my favorite moments from Apprentice 2014

On Friday morning at the conference I went to last week, I went into the classroom where there was a presentation from Richard and Nathan Foster, based on Nathan's new book. There were two seats available at the front of the room. I sat in one next to a sweet little old lady. We got in a conversation. She asked where I was from. I said I was from Hot Springs, SD. She said, "Oh we were just there!" She recounted how in the last few weeks they had been through town, stayed at the Sundowner Best Western Hotel, got a bite to eat at the Subway, and then spent the rest of the next day visiting Mount Rushmore and Wind Cave National Park, like she and her husband did when she was first married.

Our conversation ranged all over the place. I showed her pictures of my wife and family, which she loved. She talked about her love for the 700 Club. Then she said her family was with her. Her name was Carolynn. Her husband was Richard Foster, and her son was Nathan Foster. They were the presenters today. Her grandkids, she said, were to my left, as was her daughter in law and her kids.

She asked me if I had read any of her son and husband's books. I said I had purchased Nathan's new book, and read several of Richard's books. Buy Nathan's other book, she said, "Because, you know, the grandkids need new shoes."

(I have been tempted to buy the book. But it is about a father and son reconnecting relationally. And since my father seems to have no desire to have a meaningful relationship with me or the kids, I think it would just piss me off)

We talked about weight loss, diet, and she and my wife being breast cancer survivors. It was one of the highlights of the trip. I almost asked her to autograph her son's book, but I am not into that autograph stuff (I think it leans toward celebrity worship).

I spent most of the week in Dallas at Sentralized trying to find ways to be social with folks at the conference, and although some folks were friendly, I found it to be a very cliquey event with a lot of insider culture and a clear lack of openness to other folks that did not seem to be invested in their "tribe". Almost like a denominational conference, only focused on a different organization and the practice of ministry. There were notable exceptions, but that is a general gist of how things felt.

Then I get to this new conference. And someone seeks me out, instead of me having to be friendly. And the person that I met and had one of the best conversations about life, faith, and family with just happened to also be the mother and wife of two of the presenters.

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