Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Table for Four Please.."

There is a local restaurant that my family loves to eat at. The restaurant will remain nameless to protect the innocent; me. The food is good, the service is always consistently hospitable, and atmosphere pleasant. The only thing for me is I don’t particularly care for the food. If I were to choose the ideal place for me to eat, to enjoy the type of food I like, I would choose to dine somewhere else. I would go to the place that fits my peculiar appetite. I could have the type and quality of food I prefer, but I would be eating at a table for one. I would either be dinning alone or at the uneasiness of my family.

It you reread my opening statement you will find the hidden truth. It is the place my family loves to eat. For me, my family is the most valuable gift God has granted me. I actually enjoy, cherish, and love being around my family. For me dinner time is much more than food consumption. To eat is the “reason” we have gathered but not “why” we gathered. We dine together because of the conversations we have around the table, we pray, we laugh, we communicate, we share our problems, our achievements. In our hectic lives, we check in with one another. We listen to one another sympathize and support one another. We are teaching our children that family is important. Our dinner time instills the value of family. We provide examples for our children to model with their children. The preference or quality of the food is really very insignificant to the whole dinning experience. I choose to dine with them, at their favorite place, because they enjoy it and I love them.

Our church family is no different. In order for us to reach our fullest potential of following God’s vision, we must be willing to focus on the whole dinning experience and less on the food. Yes, food is important, but what is vital is the people we dine with. Christ calls us to put others first, to enjoy each others company, to show mercy and grace to others. Christ calls us as his body, known as a church, to extend that compassion to everyone. If we can not do it to the ones we profess we love; those in our own family or church family, how can we do it for others? As a faith community the choice is ours. Do we dine alone, consuming the food we prefer or do we shift our focus to those who have gathered around the table with us? Our future depends upon it.

Hope to see you soon but until take care of yourself and one another,