Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 1999

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / December 22, 1999

Being a curious person, I stop at different places just to see what’s going on. Last Thursday, I went to the Sandwich World in Gramercy about 6 a.m.Every morning, men gather there and just “shoot the bull.” I go there aboutonce every two months.

My next stop after leaving the Sandwich World was Belle Terre Country Club. A group of men gather there every morning and, just like the group atthe Sandwich World, “shoot the bull.” It was about 7:45 a.m. then. As I wasabout to leave, someone asked me where I had been so early? I told them the Sandwich World. “One thing about going there,” I said, “is that you canmiss two months and when you go back, you haven’t missed any of the conversation.” The person I was talking to said, “It’s the same thing here.”I then decided to go to the Holiday Inn where another group of men gathers every morning. I realized that their conversations were about the same asthe other two places. That’s right! No matter how much time elapsesbetween the visits, you really never miss any of the conversation. What itboils down to is that most of the talk is idle talk. I could not help butwonder if anyone else felt the same as I did.

I was reminded of what the Bible says in Matthew, Chapter 12, verses 36 and 37: “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgement. For by your words you will bejustified, and by your words you will be condemned.”The question is – why do men gather in groups? Believe me, it’s not just for the coffee. The bottom line is that we are all seeking relationships andenjoying fellowship with one another. I am reminded that God said it’s notgood for man to live alone. He was not only talking about a mate inmarriage, but fellowship with one another. We all need fellowship.I’m guilty of using more idle words than anyone I know. I also realize Ineed the fellowship of other men.

Do the early-morning coffee gatherings serve a purpose? I believe they do.

They bring men together to develop relationships. Is all the talk idle? Ithink not. Somehow, God uses these groups to touch people in only a waythat He can.

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur

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