Irish BBQ Pubs?

We were attending some meetings in Nashville last week, our first time in the Country Music Capital of the World. The weather reminded me of England, rainy and about 40 degrees. There is a point when the temperature is warm enough to enjoy the beauty of a place (“romantic” as some would say). Once it dips below 40 degrees it’s no longer romantic unless you’re in front of a fireplace…

On Valentine’s Day we walked to lunch in between meetings. It was kinda nice with a light rain falling. I turned to my wife June and said “This reminds me of England.” She laughed and said “I was going to say the same thing.”

So the big question for lunch: would we have BBQ and listen to live music, or would we just have BBQ? On one block alone there were over ten restaurants all with live music. We walked into an Irish BBQ Pub, hmmmm. There weren’t many open tables and the host said there were more tables upstairs. So we made our way up the steel and wooden stairway. It seemed to drop a few degrees with every step and by the time we reached the top I was blowing smoke. Wow, we get to eat outside.

It was a rooftop with large plastic covering, zipped up tight to block the wind and rain. And it couldn’t have been one degree above 45. Because it was empty, we searched for the table directly under a giant heater (blowing about 25 mph). The seats were metal and that was super comfortable. We looked at each other and I asked about three times if she was okay and wanted to go back downstairs. You know when you’re waiting for the other person to state the obvious, “This is miserable. Let’s go back downstairs.”

Finally, after ordering our drinks I caved in and we started back over toward the stairs with our coke and water. As we walked by the bar we told the gal it was too cold and we were going back down. She laughed and said “Why do you think I wear 3 jackets, it’s freeeeezing up here?!!”

As we walked down the stairs I was thinking why in the world are people working upstairs when no one is going to go up there (besides us)?

And it got me thinking about how many things in life are just like that…

We start with a good idea (rooftop dining, cool vibe, lunch deals) and when it starts to rain we wonder why it isn’t working. Sadly, we pour time and energy into things that aren’t working when a minor adjustment (and common sense) could turn it around.

When Jesus came He said God would not be pouring this “new wine” into “old wineskins” otherwise they would burst. In other words, He wasn’t going to invest in repairing the broken and imperfect system, but was going to create a new structure if you will. He was going to pour His Spirit into the people, not into the Temple system and services. He was displacing the authority structure and actually coming to be King. He chose the twelve and reconstituted the people of God. Amazingly, where they gathered in His name was where He was going to hang out in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

My take aways: be willing to look at everything with a fresh perspective and make adjustments where necessary. Turn a new leaf. Sometimes what has been pretty good can be the enemy of the best. And beware of rooftop dining at Irish BBQ Pubs when it is raining outside.

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