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Monday, December 05, 2005

Mike and the Mechanics

I’ve missed you my beloved bloggers, (If there were blogs when Jesus was on earth I think that is what He would have called us). I’ve been on vacation. A preacher vacation. We spent our time driving back and forth to Little Rock, going to the movies, shopping with out buying anything (The poor among you will understand this practice), and lying on the sandy beaches of Hollywood Video. But man was it relaxing. We vegged-out and loved every minute of it.

While I was on vacation I got to thinking about my former life, life as a mechanic. That is what I did before I got to do this kind of junk full-time. I want to take the next few posts and tell you about some of my mechanic friends. These guys are a colorful bunch of people and I think they somehow capture several aspects of what we are all like spiritually. All of the names have been changed to protect the guilty. However, they need not be changed much. Mechanics all have names like Mike, or Bob, or JIM. I don’t know why but that is just the way God made us. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about these guys a lot this week.

I worked with this one guy I will call Tommy. Tommy, reminded me of country singer. He wore a big cowboy hat everywhere else other than work. He drove a four wheel drive with huge tires, and best of all he was a chicken farmer on the side. He was a real man’s man. When he would walk through the door in the morning I felt like country music should play in the background, you know something like “I’ve got friends in low places, where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases, my blues away….” Actually it usually did play because we blared the stuff over a tiny pink jam box all day every day. Tommy had this real rough exterior. Small in stature but big in moxy. Do we say that in the South? There were two other mechanics I worked with at the time and we became kind of like the three amigos of the mechanic world. All of these shop politics made it much easier to do what we three amigos did best. We would daily make fun of Tommy. Not always to his face, but behind his back and in veiled references we thought he wouldn’t catch on to but kind of hoped he in some way would.

In fact we had a name for him we used behind his back. Chicken Man. Because he was a part time chicken farmer you know. Man, were we creative. I used to think it was us against him. The three amigos working to bring down the man…the “chicken man.” Now I look back and see it was us against him, them against me, me against them, and all of us against each other. We were like an office full of spiteful secretaries, except with lots of grease and hairier legs. No offence secretaries. Why do we feel the need to always toss someone out of the lifeboat? God puts us in a group and we feel the need to team up against one or more in the group. Like kids on a playground. I think what it all comes down to is we need to feel superior to someone. Wouldn’t it be great if we would all learn to just be like Jesus? He was superior to all of us but chose to not act like it to any of us. Do you have Chicken Man in your office, your shop, your store, your school, your group of friends? Can I give you some advice from a former amigo with a lot of regrets? Do what 50 cent would say and “Back up off him.” Do what Jesus would do and team up with the weaker in the herd rather than teaming up against them. I wish I had a do-over on all that time spent with Chicken Man. I guess I'll just have to use what I've learned to do better in a future episode. To be a better man in Jim the Sequel. I want to say so much more about this but this has already become much longer than I wanted it to be. Check back soon, because I want to tell you guys about Slidell, the Elvis impersonator / mechanic I used to work with. I’ve missed you guys. Please feel free to comment and let me know how you are doing, even if you are bummed out right now. My dull but enquiring mind wants to know.


  • Jim, I really identify with "Mike and the Mechanics". It's is where I work, not in my former life, but in my life RIGHT NOW! Tomorrow I will become an instant Chicken Man because I have printed this blog and am taking it to work for all of us to read. Thanks for this one. It really it is going to have lasting effects at work. I don't want to toss anyone out of the lifeboat. I like these people. Everytime I read your blog the Lord speaks to me. This time it came through LOUD AND CLEAR. Thanks again. Mama

    By Anonymous Ann Parker, at 4:11 PM  

  • Finally! Glad you to have you back, fellow blogger!

    By Anonymous Jeff, at 9:49 PM  

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