I was out at a local restaurant for dinner last night. Just like there are people who live on the island seasonally, there are also people who work here seasonally. My server last night was one of these and she admitted to me right from the beginning that she was new. This gave me a whole lot more sympathy for her than I may have had as she was not the greatest at her job. As I interacted with her and watched her serve other tables as well I was brought back to about 8 years ago when I was working as a server at Bob Evans. And then I got to thinking how being a restaurant server was good preparation for being a pastor. Both require a lot of remaining calm and polite and listening to complaints and apologizing for things that are often not your fault. Both require regular interaction with people. Both require confidence. Both are primarily based on serving. I know it's not really possible but I think it'd be good if everyone could experience working in the food service industry at some point in their life. It certainly has made me much more understanding and appreciative of those who serve me in restaurants. And who knew that all these years later I would realize that it taught me how to be a better pastor?
(PS - tip your waiters and waitresses well!)