Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meal Time

“Bring what you have there; nothing more, nothing less.  I just want to eat with you.” (John 21:10/12 RSV)

Well, tonight in about one hour (from when I started this, anyway) is the Parenthood season finale.  I have written about the show in this blog before, but I honestly could do 20-30 entries from the show alone.  It’s brilliant.  If you haven’t watched it, do yourself a favor and check it out.  If you have Netflix, you can currently see seasons 1 and 2.  What a deal, right?!

How do I know that you ask?  Well, because I have been watching them on Netflix for the past several weeks.  I know, I know.  Pathetic.  Add it to the list, folks.

The basic plot is a large extended family that all lives in a very close proximity and does basically everything together.  The four Children (Adam, Sarah, Crosby, and Julia) all get along pretty well and are clearly different from one another.  Fast forward past the descriptions if you already know (or don't care)…

Adam is the older brother.  He has a good job, good family, and more or less keeps all the siblings together.

Sarah is kinda a wreck.  Divorced from an addict, she lives back with her parents with her two (sometimes troublesome) children.

Crosby is the wandering brother that can’t seem to stay committed to anything.

Julia is the feminist, driven lawyer that is very controlling.

In looking back at some of the old episodes (I hadn’t seen most of them before) I loved the pilot.  I always love the pilot.  In any good show it sets an incredible stage.  It introduces the characters, lets us into their lives, and gives us just enough of a taste for what might come up.  In any good story we are made to feel a part of it.  A pilot then, suffices as an introduction; a first impression.

As Adam is running through the neighborhood, a number of problems come his way.  His dad wants his attention, his wife is wondering where he is and his sister, Sarah, is calling him on the phone.

As he answers we learn that Sarah is in Fresno.  She is trying to pack up her life.  She’s decided to move with her children back in with her parents.  She’s leaving her job, her ex husband, her kids' comfort zones, everything!

Have you ever done this, or felt like you have?  Maybe it was leaving home to go to College.  Maybe it has been a move from a job.  Maybe it has been an identical situation.

If you know me, you know I have.

I’ve moved home not once, but twice.  Indefinitely each time.  Talk about a charmer for the ladies.

On the other end, I have left home-with no real idea what was waiting for me on the other end.

I cannot definitively speak for you, but I think we have all been in a Sarah Braverman type of situation before.  It's not an easy place to be.  No promise is offered and we are left running through all of the other possibilities in our head.

As Sarah starts talking to her older brother, she lists all of the reasons why moving back is a terrible idea.  Sound like you?  I’ve certainly been there.

Adam reassures her it will all be fine--that this is a very good decision; the right decision by telling her, “If it’s not good, you can blame me.”

“Good.  That’s what I wanted!”, Sarah snaps back.

Isn’t that us?!?! 

Don’t we want someone to blame if everything goes wrong?  If our house of cards topples to the ground, we want to point the finger at someone else!

Adam himself knows he’s lying.  Sarah ultimately knows this is her decision.  Blame rests nowhere but on her.  Too often I find myself figuratively, and literally praying this to God.  I say, just fill in ‘much required’, God.  If I just knew what you specifically wanted, I would do it.  Just show it to me!

Sound like you at all?

I’m not sure in my prayer it’s an earnest desire to know exactly what God wants.  If I am honest, I think it is my desire to use God as a scapegoat. 

All the while I really think God sees the map of our lives much like a nice dinner. My friend Joe shared this with me. In trying to keep the analogy simple, if we were to go to dinner with God I don’t think he would care what we order.  He wouldn’t really care if we got the chicken, the steak, some pasta, or a veggie dish.  I think ultimately he just want to spend some time enjoying the company of his kid.

I like that.

In sharing many meals with my parents over the years, (ok and now, again…) they have never demanded I order something specific off of the menu.  They just love to be with me; to spend time getting to know me, and me them.  See I don’t think our decisions are hit or miss.  I ultimately think God just wants to be with his children.

Sarah, then, like ourselves has to make the decision.  Is just being together enough?  Is the adventure valuable in and of itself?  

And while I won’t answer what happens with Sarah and Adam, the undecided future for us looks positive. Whatever is next; whether it’s the fish or the hamburger, we have to be sure the second Adam (1 Corinthians 10:45) is the one eating with us.

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