I worked a full day then drove straight to another town where my mom lives, so I could harvest more corn. I don’t like it to go to waste. The plan was to get as much done as possible, have a quick dinner with my mom, then head home around dark for a fast sleep and another day of work.
I was able to find more corn than I expected. And more people wanted more corn than expected. So, as the sun was setting, I made one more quick trip to the field to grab some more ears. I pulled into the driveway and still needed to dump the shucks and clean up a couple things before I was done. Mom called from the house to ask if I was ready for my supper, but I told her I’d just take it to go.
I knew she had made a fresh peach pie. And she had pulled two hot dogs from the freezer. For most people, that wouldn’t sound appetizing, but these were special hot dogs. They were not only good quality, but they were prepared by a good friend to my parents. He knew how my mom liked them prepared and gave several to her every now and then. She kept them for days when a good hot dog sounded like the best meal. They were treats.
I knew that specific day had been a rough one for this man and his wife. As I walked the length of the yard to dump the shucks, I thought of them both. And I realized I had time to sit down and enjoy that hot dog. I didn’t need to rush. A few minutes wasn’t going to significantly impact my day. If I didn’t have the time to sit down and enjoy the delicious hot dog this man had prepared and given to my mom just because I was hot and tired and wanted a shower and sleep, my priorities needed checked.
He and his wife were on my mind and in my prayers on my drive home and the days that followed. That short pause of eating a hot dog was oddly calibrating. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I needed the reminder.
We all do from time to time.
We don’t like every pause God brings into our lives. We sometimes want to push through. We don’t like to be inconvenienced. We want our agendas and our timeframes. But we need to constantly be prepared to shift our plans. We need to be sensitive to those around us. We need to pay attention, and we need to respond.
It might seem like a small, insignificant pause—like eating a hot dog to remember a special person—but when we’re willing, even the small things can significantly impact ourselves and others.