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Lori's Diner, by Phil Ware

    Lori’s Diner, downtown San Francisco — I was on a quick turn around trip to speak for an Internet conference for Volunteers of America. I was having a nice, old fashioned high-calorie lunch in a 50’s style diner. Richie, Potsy, and The Fonz would have all felt at home.

    What I noticed in this bustling burger joint delighted me. The wait staff was good—kind, helpful, attentive and industrious. I especially noticed one young man behind the counter. He worked with a smile. He greeted folks when he made eye contact. He worked at an incredible pace. He did his job well. He took obvious pride in doing it well, pleasing others and helping the rest of the wait staff. His style was infectious. It lifted my spirits.

    Maybe the people I was around (folks who give their lives to helping those in need find a better way to live) helped awaken my appreciation for others. Maybe it was the enjoyable company of a new friend with whom I shared lunch—a friend whose face lit up every time he talked about helping children. Bottom line, the Lord used it to remind me of how often I notice what is wrong—poor service, rude people, missed schedules—and how often I forget to notice the people who are good, right, kind, helpful, and fun.

I acknowledged how selfish I usually am…
    I rebuked myself for all the times I’ve complained and felt mistreated. I admitted to myself that I seldom look for what people are doing well, much less taking joy in their performance. I acknowledged how selfish I usually am, thinking only how events impact me. I realized that I miss so much joy by not rejoicing in how much of ordinary life goes well because people do genuinely care.

    While I have lots of “BIG” things to be thankful for, I am reminded that it’s often the “little” things that others do that make my life much more enjoyable and my trip home to the Father a journey of joy. I’m making a commitment on the way home, right now in the airplane, that I will recognize the good around me more often and focus on the uncomfortable less. God has blessed me in so many ways, surely I can share with him my joy!

    Postscript: Amazingly as I came to this conviction, the man across the aisle saw I was trying to write all this down on my napkin and gave me a piece of paper to make my writing a little easier. Interesting…or better yet, a confirmation of all that the Lord was trying to teach me!


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