The Dining Room Table
The dining room table. This is the place where families gather to eat meals together. The place where a nice home-cooked meal is placed on the table for the family to enjoy. The place where the family catches up with each other and engages in conversation. At least...that's what it was designed for.
Before "Shelter at Home," my dining room table had nothing to do with meals or gathering or conversations. The dining room table was a desk where my kids would do their homework. It was a work bench for the next art - book report - science fair project that was slowly being worked on. It was a place that gathered clutter - as much as my wife fought this and attempted to make it look very clean and cute. Food and family time though, that's a whole different story.
We liked to try to sit down and eat together once a week, but once a month (or so) was more like it. We were too busy to use the dining room table for what it was intended for. We barely had enough time to cook a meal at home, let alone sit down and eat it together. We were constantly on the go. I had youth group meetings twice a week. My son had soccer practice twice a week. My younger daughter had soccer twice a week, softball twice a week (oh, and I coached that team) and went to youth group. My older daughter had softball 4 days a week (oh, and I helped coach this team as well), youth group and whatever else was going on with her busy high school schedule. My wife lead a women's Bible study once a week and the rest of the time, she was busy playing the role as family Uber. We were busy!
And then the coronavirus happened and everything came to a stop. School was canceled. Sports were canceled. Gatherings outside of the home were canceled...actually...life outside of the home was canceled. Everything either ceased to exist or it was moved online. It was a shock to everyone. It was sad, but it was a break from our normal. Our normal life that was too busy to allow us to spend time together. It was an introduction to a "new normal." It was an introduction to our dining room table.
After "Shelter at Home," our family met the dining room table. We now had time to cook and we had nowhere to go, so we had time to eat together. We were no longer eating out of Tupperware, off of paper plates or even out of paper "to go" bags. We actually stopped buying paper plates. Shocker here...we are now using those nice, glass plate things that were in the cabinet. We spend time eating at the table almost every night (some nights we eat on the coach and watch a movie together).
As much as our world was shocked and our normal ceased to exist, I love our new normal. I love sitting at the table and eating as a family. I love spending time talking with each other and seriously engaging in conversation. I get to hear my kids tell stories. I get to hear horrible jokes (not as in can't be repeated, but just shouldn't be repeated because they make "dad jokes" look good). We get to share what God has been teaching us and we get to share what God has been stirring in our hearts.
Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
As a pastor, I am trying to do my part in exalting His name throughout the platforms and audience He has given me, but more importantly, as a Husband and Father, I am choosing to be still and make sure His name is exalted in my family!
The dining room table is a great place to "be still."