As I have transverse times of uncertainty – where so many things in my life felt in complete disarray & no immediate end seemed to be anywhere in sight – I have found these 3 things have always helped me pull up a seat to each new day and joyfully feast on what is served.
(1) The Guest List: You must decide and prioritize what “voices” get a seat at today’s dinner party. You cannot pull up a chair beside a chaotic blend of unfiltered opinions and expect to maintain a sense of peace about where things are heading. Opening Facebook to take in your “staying informed” scroll is like inviting a world of toddlers to your dinner party. It will leave you over informed & distracted and you can only be attentive to so many conversations in a day. The wee most vulnerable hours of the day for me are reserved for conversations and prayer with God. A Reminder to myself of the innate truths I have come to believe and discover through my faith walk. It’s like an anchor for my day rooting me to the belief that things may toss me about in the waves today but I am tethered to something bigger and need not fear. I have been adding what I hope to be helpful content to socials but I myself am not consuming the content in a mindless scroll. The important world announcements find there way to me – I do not need to go out and seek them. There are more important guest I need to seek out to be present in today. It’s time to edit the guest list and be selective over who and what voices get a seat at your table.
(2) Setting the Table with Gratitude. The quickest way to turn the mood of a table right side up is gratitude. Filling our heads with everything we are missing only draws attention to the black hole that is sucking all the joy out of the room. We do not know what tomorrow will bring and no guessing will change it. The only thing we have immediate control over is the minutes right in front of us. This is the perfect time to learn the daily habit of gratitude. Centring our spirit around thankfulness invites Joy to take a seat at the table. Joy is different than happy. Joy brings a sense of peace even in times of worry or uncertainty. You can still be sad and in mourning but Joy allows you to smile amongst the tears. It’s a massively powerful guest to make room for at the daily table. Joy is best summoned with thankfulness. Not thankfulness for the ornate standout items like the centre piece in the middle of the table but when we can find thankfulness over the most simplest things like the table itself, the guests on your right and left, the clean water being served, the heated room and shelter over your head. Even thankfulness to live in a country where going bankrupt is an option!! Joy will attend any party with guests willing to submerge themselves in attentive and deliberate simple thankfulness.
(3) To Serve Not to Be Served. When you are selective in who gets a seat at the table and purposeful to set the table with gratitude inviting Joy to your daily rhythms it makes you something the world is always in need of – which is available. It means when you take a seat at the daily table you notice when your guests cups are empty and you have the presence to stand up and help fill the empty cups of your neighbours. Purpose lived out in service to the world ushers in a double portion of Joy. Instead of being inwardly consumed with all that you are missing your eyes are open to a world around you where your deliberate presence and service can make a difference. It’s much better to live a life more aware of the empty toilet paper roll in the guest bathroom rather than your own en-suite. You begin to realize there are only a handful of things in this lifetime that really matter. Your presence & service at the dinner party. Positioning your heart and soul to be present to serve rather then to be served.
It’s not an easy practise hosting a daily dinner party in the midst of uncertainty but it is worth it. Through prayer and petition I have come to learn God is generous when we openly ask and seek for daily guidance. Everyday another table is set before us. We get to decide, are we going to pull up a seat to be served OR position our hearts and minds to be of service to the guests seated amongst us.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr