Twitter in the Sauna

We belong to the local Y. Here in middle Tennessee the YMCA system is amazing. They say that the one I attend is the fourth largest in the United States. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that it affords us amazing amenities and they are heavily used every morning by an army of men, young and old, all fighting the same battle of the bulge.

I like going after I drop the girls at school. Since I work from home and am somewhat isolated from the rest of global commerce, it gets me moving in the morning. I have gone long enough that I know guys. By knowing I don’t mean “know” like in friends. It is more knowing them at a particular level; a level that is very, well, naked.

The Internet has nothing on the sauna. In the time it takes to break a good sweat you can discuss sports, politics, economics, religion, raising family, health issues and speculate on that great sweatbox in the hereafter. It is something to look forward to. Men speak in very short sound bites (think audio twitter). Deep thoughts, no chat.

The other day it was the NFL draft (Titans may have gotten it right-31 characters), health, politics and economics (Swine flu may be the final straw-32 characters) and religion (I believe we will be taken before it all blows to hell-54 characters). Little talk about the weather, or a great meal or yard work; no idle chatter from these men. Mind you, this is the beginning of the day before everything hits us.

I don’t think Andy, Barney, Floyd and Goober ever had these kind of talks. There was no need for them in Mayberry (those reading this that do not understand the reference, I’m sorry for you). It has been said by scores of people that these are different times we live in. A global collapse in conceivable. We now know the meaning of pandemic. I think Y2K got everybody’s attention; I know that I for one have been more observant. Trust is more fragile and truth has become more subjective in the western world. My guess is that in the third world, life is simpler and trust and truth are a bit more straightforward, but this is conjecture on my part.

I try to tell my girls every morning on the way to school that this is going to be an exceptional day, and predictably their reply is always the same. Why?

I’ll leave you with my simple answer, Because we get to choose. And so my coffee cup is half full. My action can be listening to a little less news and a bit more contemplation on the goodness of God. And one more sound bite. (His mercies are new every morning-33 characters).

–Steve Wyer


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