I was having a cortado at Agora, a coffeeshop just a few blocks from my condo. It has the perfect name for the setup truly engenders people meeting each other.
I went to the back room. There were a few guys in there. A couple of them left while I was drinking my coffee. One young man appeared engrossed in what he was working on at his table. Two of the guys were having a conversation that included faith and neuroscience–not really tied together. It’s just that their talk ranged somewhat widely. They got to personality types and the MBTI and the older of the two men said that a person can’t really do it for themselves, and that his wife should take it for him. That’s when I had to speak up for the validity* and reliability* of the MBTI, and that each person is the only one who can truly validate their own results.
A three-way conversation ensued in which all of us realized that we score as ENFPs on the MBTI. Not a surprise to me since the two-way conversation was ranging across topics so freely. In this spirit, I offered the younger man interested in neuroscience a book reference that ties that together with faith questions. Mike McHargue’s book Finding God in the Waves is an excellent, lively, and thoughtful retelling of the author’s journey from evangelical (used in the common parlance) Christianity to atheism and then to becoming a follower of Jesus.
I apologized to the young man sitting solo in case we were interrupting his concentration. After a few minutes more, he asked us to hold it down. It took us several seconds to realize that he was joking, and joining us in our conversation. The work holding his attention was a pencil drawing.
We talked for a while. I left first since I was walking home on somewhat icy pavements.
For a day that portended to be dull and lonely, I became aware of God’s grace pouring out upon us.
Later I realized that I knew of, but had not personally met, the older of the two men sitting together. Two days later, I encountered the younger of those two in the Apple store at Tyson’s. It is a world in which we are connected even in unexpected ways.
[*These are psychometric terms. Validity means that it measures what it sets out to measure; reliability means that take/retake results are similar. While there are so many different personality “tests” available, the MBTI is an indicator, not a test, that has decades of research and data behind it. I do not recommend taking the little quickie free online quizzes.]