As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
There are families that insist that all electronic devices be turned off during meals. This is a family that still practices the ancient practice of making the dinner table a grand gathering place for the whole family. It is a brief time of coming together to discuss the events of the day, check on everyone’s well-being and taking a time for prayer and a short devotion. It’s pretty simple really –or at least it used to be.
Modern schedules are often filled with sporting events, musical practices and meetings right at meal time and texting 24/7. We may get a lot done this way, but it is easy to miss some of the most important things in our family circle. We do eat – sometimes standing, watching TV, texting between bites out of a bag on the bleachers.
Balancing all of life is not easy as we strive to take advantage of all of the opportunities we have as well as cover all of our responsibilities. As a District President I have learned the fine art of highway dining. It is a really nice treat to sit at a nicely set table, enjoy casual conversation, chew your food completely, discuss the events of the day and pray! It’s a refreshing time and an important time for warm conversation and relaxation.
Growing up on a farm meant meal time was meal time – definite and sure – when the cows were milked and fed it was time for the grand gathering around the kitchen table. The work, eat and sleep cycles of life seemed much more predictable and regular. Maybe that’s just the way I remember it. Truth is that these are memorable for families who do this today!
My encouragement today is for us to pace and schedule our time in such a way that we enjoy grand meal gatherings as often as possible and enjoy the “table talk” that strengthens, enlightens and up lifts. To this day, my beloved wife prepares meals, sets the table (always with napkins and placemats) so that we can have our two person gathering whenever I am at home and not highway dining. It is great and I appreciate it!
This just in: Researchers found that a majority of people admitted they did not eat meals at the table, instead deciding to eat either “on the go” or consume “takeaways” in front of the television. Experts blamed today’s “extremely fast paced” society, in which workers spend more time in the office and families less time together at home. According to the online poll of 500 people, fewer than one in five said they ate at the dining or kitchen table “one or two meals a week” compared to 13 per cent who did once a day. Almost one in three people admitted eating at the dining table only a “few times a year”, four per cent never HUMMM!