A Parable from Waffle House

Jesus’ use of parables provided profound truth in everyday experiences.  I’m guilty of desiring significant undeniable messages from God.  You know, a personal visit, lighting bolt, a clear voice from God, even a burning bush!  What I miss is an expression of God’s  love, care and presence in the ordinary, the unexpected. Today gave me an example.  I have a day to myself.  It’s one of those rare times when I don’t have an agenda.  I chose to focus on an intimate time with God.  I hadn’t done that for a while and I was looking forwared to the opportunity.  Beause I’m traveling and needed breafkast,  I made my way to a local Waffle House.  Usually, they are friendly and relative quiet.  I mused that there I could begin to write, reglect and read a few passages from “The Confessions of St. Augustine” and enjoy the time of reflection.  However, when I arrived the places was crowded and noisy with no place to find a quiet booth.  I found a lone seat at one of the end bars, where I was greeted kindly, and my order was taken.  I took out my notebook and began to journal my thoughts.  I wrote about how I was seeking a more intimate moment with God, but was interrupted by the controlled, focused chaos going on around me.  The atmosphere was anything but quiet and reflective as waitresses shouted  orders to a cook who seemed to pay no attention but got the order right; waitress working in a crowded space  yet smiling to one another; and  customers paitently waiting for their order without grumbling. I continued to journal and read, but felt alone and isolated in a space of busy, loud people, all of whom had their own agenda.  Yet the waitress, with a smile,  brought my food.  She didn’t ask about my journaling nor the St. Augustine’s book, but she was present to meet my needs.  After she checked on me she quickly returned to the chaos of taking orders, shouting to the cook and providing service to those who were hungry.  Many times, I have my expecations of how it ourght to be only to discover my expectations are not reality.  In a busy, loud, chaotic Waffle House, I expereinced God in a different, yet marvelous way.  Just like I wanted the waitress to focus on me, I wanted God to pay attention to just me for a moment. It was all about just me.  But the waitress, and God, have others to care for as well.  The waitress did not ingnore me, she took my order in good time, provided good service and came back to check on my coffee.   I have fallen into the trap of believing that I’m at the center of God’s universe and that I should have His attention 24/7.   Like the waitress, God is present, God cares, God too exist in a chaoitic universe,  but still takes time for me.

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