Saturday, May 07, 2005

Deep Within The Silver Minds

There are people I know whom I sometimes wish I could strap into a chair and force to tell me their stories.

My father-in-law is one. We have a good relationship and I have heard some of his adventures and certainly plenty of his opinions. Make no mistake I cherish them, but there have been other - less frequent - occasions when our conversation has slipped slightly beyond the comfortably familiar to the more personally insightful. It's then I realize that he has many untold tales, and perhaps not all are pretty stories.

I desire more.

My friends Roy and Charles are on my inquisition list too. So is my relatively new friend Chuck.

All these men are in their 70's - active and relatively healthy. Perhaps they'll all out live me, but even were that to prove true, without more purposeful effort on my part I would still be shortchanged their wisdom.

Chuck and I have known each other for shortest period of time, but our conversations have been deep and meaningful. We talk often about God.

I suppose this is due in part to the fact that Chuck is entering a new season of life and with it has come a renewed desire for spiritual sustenance. Chuck knows a great many people, but I don't know how many of them are people with whom he can be candid about his faith, or forthcoming with his fears. I'm not sure I've reached that level with him yet either, but I hope we're at least heading in that direction.

Alas, like many things of true value the conversations I seek can't be forced or timed or demanded...the words must be gleaned in circumstances of unchallenged times of quiet ease.

Such moments are not as easy to find as you might imagine.

But I think I am going to try harder.

I'm becoming increasingly aware that these efforts yield the building blocks of character.

I'm mining silver and finding pure gold.