Bo's cafe cropped cover

My Takeaways & Quotes From Bo's Cafe By Lynch, Thrall, & McNicol

For the past few months (and through half of 2020), I'm participating in a Gwinnett Church Leadership Development Group (LDG) as a stepping stone towards further involvement at our church.

It's a small group of guys with two leaders guiding us through an in-depth and genuine (as opposed to superficial) spiritual discovery of God, ourselves, and each other. 

As part of the journey, we'll be reading a book (and sharing our takeaway) between each month's meeting and this month was the book Bo's Cafe by John Lynch, Bill Thrall, and Bruce McNicol (affiliate link).

The fictional book follows the story of a man in a mid-life crisis, primarily in the context of his marriage falling apart. The more he holds onto and attempts to superficially fix his marriage and himself the more his relationship with his wife slips through his fingers. But, along the way, an older gentleman begins mentoring him. As he helps the main character navigate through the challenges, we move closer to the root problem that is causing all the chaos.

Much of the story reminded me of the difficult journey that followed after moving from Arizona to Atlanta in my own life and marriage. 

Below are my lessons learned, key insights and highlighted quotes from the book.

Lessons Learned Summary

Superficial solutions to deep problems only delay an inevitable destructive end. True changes come first through humility, asking for transformational help, receiving guidance from someone who has gone before us, and enduring patience to see the change unfold from the inside-out.

Key Insights

  • We humans are ticking time bombs, where people and conflict over time truly reveal the person looking back in the mirror.
  • As much as we may need or even want help, often our ego prevents us from asking for it. And, with that ego, we also actively resist those that offer their help.

Personal Application

  • This book is a helpful reminder of the journey I’ve been on, and the moments that came along with it. It provides an appreciation for the “Andy“ in my life and the loving wife who endured the challenging seasons that unfolded in our journey.
  • The book is also a reminder and inspirational story to remember there are others who will follow our pathway and need help as we did. Coming through to the other side can lead to forgetting how hard it was to start and traverse the difficult journey.
  • As much as we transform, we are not immune to falling back, facing new challenges, and simply meeting our own limits, depravity, and sinful desires. We must remain humble in understanding and owning our fallibility. 

Meaningful Quotes

  • “The pattern doesn’t change.” p15
  • “I’ve lost who I used to be. I don’t even recognize me anymore.” p16
  • “And until you let someone shine a light into your room, nothing’s gonna change. Life’s gonna get more painful, more confusing, and darker.” p21
  • “’m not a very good passenger. I drive; I don’t ride.” p28
  • “We’re an entire population with spinach in our teeth -- and no one tells us.” p31
  • “Or a high school student trapped by porn but too ashamed to let anybody know. So day after day, he wraps himself in increasing darkness that will follow him into his marriage and contaminate the family he’ll one day raise.” p32
  • “Steven, people don’t ever get fixed. They either mature, or they just keep getting more bent up the rest of their lives.” p73
  • “Carlos, what if there was a safe enough place where you could tell the worst about yourself and not be loved or respected less, but more?” p74
  • “It’s a whisper that’s been there all my life.” p76
  • “It takes a whole lot more than willpower to get anything done in the human heart.” p90
  • “I’ve been dying inside these last few months, and no one sees it or wants to see it.” p101
  • “So we fashion some fig leaves to protect ourselves.” p147
  • “We have not learned how to trust what HE says is true about us.” p152
  • “Control is an expression of superiority.” p156
  • “So the gamble is whether she can hold out that long, whether she should hold out that long.” p202

Tags: Book Commentary

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