“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
It was an unexpected blessing. This morning my friend Jeremy gave me a call and asked if I wanted to go to Marion (a town about 25 miles from where we live) with him. He needed some stuff from Sam’s so it just sounded like a good thing to do. And do you know what? It was. He swung by the house and off we went. As we traveled we talked. We have one of those “what’s said in the truck, stays in the truck” things so it is good to have a place where you can let your hair down (uh, if you’ve ever seen my hairline you know that is metaphorically speaking) and just be guys.
As we neared Marion, he took a turn down Main Street, which was a little odd for going to Sam’s, and before I knew it we were at Cracker Barrel. That caught me off guard since I thought we were just doing the Sam’s thing. It turns out my bad ear failed to hear the part about, “I’ll buy your breakfast.” So, hey, the trip went from good to really good. Let’s see…time away with a brother and free breakfast…yup…that works. We were quickly seated in Cracker Barrel but that is when the quickly ended and it was also when I realized I might be having a couple of “Cracker Barrel moments.”
We waited awhile before a server came by. He was kind and gracious and so were we. He took our order and Jeremy and I began to talk. We talked about this and we talked about that and then, because there was time, we talked about that again. Finally, after oh, three days, our food came. It really wasn’t too big of a deal because I was spending time with a friend, and I was studying for a sermon on patience and needed some practice. But I did say to Jeremy, pointing at the food, “I was just about to have to work on my patience.” He smiled and said, “Hey, you got some place to go?” Ah…Cracker Barrel moment number one. Enjoy the moment. Truth was there was nothing I was going to do that was more important than just visiting with a friend. Someone once said that one of the most spiritual things we can do is take a nap. Number two on that list might be visiting with a Christian brother. Check.
Cracker Barrel moment number two happened a few minutes later. After we were seated for a few minutes an older couple came in and sat down nearby. Their server was there immediately. I think I frowned. Their food came (before ours…I might have frowned) and then shortly after, our own breakfast feast arrived. Judy was not around so I order the works. Then it happened. A young man walked in and was seated close to the older couple. I watched as the young man went over to the older man, excused himself for interrupting, said something. They shook hands and the young man returned to his table.
The older couple left first and then Jeremy and I stood to leave too. I stopped at the table of the young man and asked, “I saw you go over and talk to that older man. What was that about?” I really already knew. The young man said, “He was a veteran I was thanking him for his service.” Yup…I was right. The older gentleman had a ball cap on and it identified him as a veteran. I said, “Well, thank you for thanking him for his service. That was very kind.” I don’t know who his Momma was, but she sure did a good job raising him.
Two Cracker Barrel moments—two exact opposite lessons yet both valuable. Live for the moment…whatever is next can probably wait and always, and I mean always, take the opportunity to do the right thing…like thanking a veteran. I left Cracker Barrel a lot fuller that day…pun intended. We enjoyed a good meal, some great fellowship, and had a blessing thrown in for dessert.
Tucked away in one of those books of the Bible that we rarely read is a verse that says, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” I think my visit to Cracker Barrel hit on a couple of those. None of us know which day will be our last day but it is good to know the One who does. Until that time we need our Cracker Barrel moments to remind us we are still learning and that “He’s got this.”