It’s been 25 years or so since I first heard this story and up it popped again, today.
Bill and I were having a conversation about the radical opportunity we have to actually go out to dinner Monday night. This doesn’t happen too often these days. (Ask Luther!)
While we chatted about the where and when options, never mind what to eat, I had a sudden flashback.
We were sitting in either Dallas or Houston, in the ballroom of a Marriott hotel, with a whole bunch of new church development pastors. Lots of people were teaching.
Both fascinating and terrifying.
And then somebody told a story that went something like this…
A young couple went home to visit one set or another of their parents for a weekend. They got up on Saturday morning and started trying to figure out what they wanted to do for lunch.
(Does this sound familiar to anybody???)
After a couple of cups of coffee and no decision, somebody said, “We could go to Abilene.”
And so they did. All four of them in a pickup truck. On a warm day. With no air conditioning.
The only place to eat was a place that served chili.
They all had chili for lunch. Perhaps a couple of beers. It got hot. And hotter.
They headed home. And felt, shall we say, worse by the mile, despite rolling down all the windows in the truck.
Nobody felt at all well when they got home.
A couple of hours and a nap later, as they all wandered gradually back to the porch, where it was still really hot, everyone agreed that they really wished they hadn’t gone to Abilene.
And then, the one who had brought it up in the first place tried to defend himself.
“I said we could go to Abilene,” he said.
“I didn’t say I wanted to go!”
Have you, figuratively, been to Abilene?
But, since we both know the code, and have used it frequently throughout the years, we called a quick timeout to be sure we weren’t headed for Abilene on Monday evening.
Soon, we had a plan.
The new Stratford Pub.
Right here in the neighborhood. Getting good reviews. Easy for a work night.
Is it a perfect plan?
But it’s probably not Abilene. (No offense!)
And it’s already a good reminder that we all have tendencies to wind up in places we didn’t need to be, just because we could have, and didn’t, speak up or explore the options.
Geographically, I’ve never been to Abilene. Georgia, Texas, or Kansas.
Systemically, I’ve been there, way more than enough!
How about you???