The evening had not gone well. First the joys of traveling by air reached new heights when my bag was lost between New York and Chicago. Second the hotel seemed to have mysteriously forgotten who I was, that I might have ever had a reservation, or even been to the hotel in the past. Some might call this exciting or an adventure, I call it a headache looking to get worse.
I slipped out to get something to eat while I worked on reducing the level of fumes rising from my soul. A local Japanese restaurant called out offering a bit of peace and tranquility. As I reached my seat and wiped the anger and frustration off my face with a hot towel, I found myself sitting next to someone who looked like we could have gone to school together.
I always try to approach restaurants as a personal thing. Let others eat in peace, speak only when spoken to, and enjoy the experience. As I looked at the fresh food in front of me, wondering what choice and direction I should pursue, a question flew in my direction.
“Is there anything that you would recommend?”
“No, actually everything is very good. If you are in doubt ask the chef and go with his recommendations.”
The conversations that followed were wonderful. Life, family, work, relationships, and challenges were all fodder for our evening meal. Adventurous ordering on the menu also became part of the equation. As the evening progressed I found myself focusing on the similarities and contrasts in our separate journeys. His was of coming from the south side of town and making a life for himself and his family. As his phone rang we talked about mutual friends and linking up after years and decades had past. There were too many examples of those who continued to pursue thrills at the cost of real living.
His mobile rang.
“You’re addicted to thrills? What an empty life! The pursuit of pleasure is never satisfied.” (Proverbs 21.17)
The proverb paraphrased their conversation.
What will it be?