My dad hosts a family dinner about every six weeks. All his children and grandchildren meet for dinner at a pizza place near his house. My dad is like a mother hen, so happy having all his chicks in the nest together. Even though it is chaotic, with so many people, he loves it. And while you can only talk to the those seated around you, and miss lots of the conversation, my dad takes it all in.
One of the extended family members doesn't like the restaurant. "Why do we always have to go there, the food is terrible. And we can't even all visit with each other," she complains. The funny thing is I don't particularly care for the food there either. But what I do love is my dad.
The restaurant is close and convenient to his home, and reasonably priced. I don't go for the food, I go for my father. My dad is 75 years old. So I savor these dinners of chaos and craziness, because I know one day, we won't be having them.
And when that day comes, I won't remember the rubbery pizza. I'll remember the contented look on my dad's face when everyone finally got there...right on time, but because he was 10 minutes early (as usual) he was worried someone would forget. I'll remember how he lined the grandchildren up, youngest to oldest, and gave them each a $20 bill. And I'll remember the time he surprised them and gave them all $100 bills. And I might even want to go eat at the pizza place again, just to remember.
And one things for sure, I know I won't ever say "I wish I had eaten at a better restaurant." I will say, "I wish I could eat that rubbery pizza, with my dad, just one more time."
Who can you honor today by putting aside your own desires, and meeting them where they are?
"Honor your father...." Exodus 20:12