“What are you doing tomorrow?”
“I am pretty open; paperwork, errands, and writing. Why?”
“Let’s get together for lunch. I know just the place.”
I knew the day was going to be stressful. With unanswered emails, bills to pay, analysis work to be done, and writing assignments, I was going to continue to fail at something. Just the thought of it, even early in the morning with a soft tropical breeze trying to soothe me, made things worse. I started early, knowing that there was not enough time or energy to get everything done.
The progress by late morning was ok but failure was still here. As I wrestled with the decision of taking a break, I began to remember. There was a pattern in taking a break with this man. I always came back refreshed and filled with new sense of energy. My rationalization was that lunch was not optional; it was required! My priorities needed to include this time.
During the course of taking time, walking along the seawall, talking about life, and eventually having a relaxing lunch, I rediscovered how contagious peace is to those open to being infected. There were several observations that held true in our time together.
When someone has a compassionate spiritual life that starts with in her/his heart and radiates outwards, peace and a steely resilience to what life throws at them often follows. David described it this way; “I live and breathe God; if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy.” (Psalm 34.2) My lunch is a living proof point that this can be experienced.
The gifts others can give you include Hope, Mercy, Compassion, and a belief in the possible. In order for the gift to be complete, the receiver needs to accept and embrace. Together, the gift changes both from the inside out.
Gifts are never the final answer, even when accepted. The stress was still there, deadlines loomed, failure threatened. I still have a to-do list but I have made progress. My load seems lighter, the future brighter. It started with lunch.