Monday, February 28, 2011

Golden Arches Social Club

Here is something that I have learned about McDonald's: It is a senior citizens center from about 8-11 am. There are retirees of every sort who gather at McDonald's for their "Senior Coffee" and a time of visiting (gossip) with their fellow retirees.

When I see this phenomenon at work, and I see it often, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I think, "Look at these people. They should be a lot more productive than wasting their days at McDonald's." That's when reality sets in and I realize that I am wasting my days at McDonald's.

On the other hand, I have a hint of jealousy for the leisure time that affords them the opportunity to gather without regard to time of commitment. I am envious of the social nature of their gathering. I long for similar opportunities with people in my age group.

These seniors are not trying to impress anyone. They are real, natural. They say silly things to one another. They make fun of each other and share opinions no matter what anyone else thinks. They are a real community.

These men and women notice the absence of members from their community. They express concern for ill members or deaths, or children who are getting divorced, or unwed, pregnant grandchildren. They support each other, without artificially agreeing with everything. They are honest and filled with integrity.

In many ways, the Golden Arches Social Club is exactly what a church is supposed to be. They are a body, an organism. This group serves as a "kind of" family. Maybe my congregation and I should take some lessons.

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