Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Potluck (Meal or Gathering) Deadline 7-26-12 @ 10 AM NY Time (07/19/12)
TITLE: AN EVENT THAT I HATED
By James Dick
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I was strictly a “meat and potatoes” kid who wanted my food groups separated on the plate. I didn’t want to waste time talking when I could be eating.
If the event was in late spring or summer, it was even worse. It took time away from my beloved baseball before dark.
Now my widowed mom was very wise and had other ideas that I didn’t appreciate. She knew that the potluck suppers were a good way for me to learn and develop proper social skills and manners. So my attendance was required.
My older siblings actually enjoyed the suppers. I guess they were old enough to appreciate them. They would gather with their friends and check out the other girls and boys their age. I guess my problem was that at age nine I hadn’t discovered girls yet.
My opinion was reinforced by most of the other kids my age in attendance. We all wanted to do something else and, to make matters even worse, we also knew that our parents were aware of our feelings. Why did they do this to us?
Looking back, I realize that attending potluck suppers was a good training exercise. In addition to learning good social skills, they made me realize that I didn’t always get to do what I wanted. Sometimes I had to defer to the wishes of others, and if I really cared about them I would do so willingly.
Mom dearly loved to see friends that she otherwise might not see as often. She was a talker and I am sure it helped her spirits immensely. It gave her a much needed break from raising us siblings alone. Losing her husband with kids aged seventeen, thirteen and nine was difficult and the potluck suppers were just one small event that helped her keep her wits about her.
But there is something else that was amazing about my mom’s actions that relate to potluck. It comes from a review of the actual definition of the word potluck in general, not potluck supper in particular.
Dictionary.com defines potluck as “whatever is available and comes one’s way.” And in this regard Mom was much more selective.
While she liked potluck suppers and was open to eating any variety of the concoctions that came her way at the meal, her life was not lived that way. Mom was very careful about us, who we chose for friends, what we did with our spare time, and how we worshiped God and maintained our relationship with Him.
God did not come to her because he was available. He came to her because she opened her heart and believed in Him and His son, Jesus Christ. And she instilled this love and trust in us.
Oh, it wasn’t that she could force us to believe or dictate how we would live. No, it was the daily dose of common sense Christianity and her love of God that brought Him into our hearts. It was training, devotion, and her earthly love with a heavenly purpose. It is what opened us to the Holy Spirit. Mom had been His go-between. It was exactly what a parent should be.
Mom has been dead now for a number of years. She lived to the ripe old age of ninety-one. But even though she was feeble at the end and suffered from Alzheimer’s, I still miss her counsel immensely. Her guidance and love helped me develop into a much stronger man than she ever knew. I always remember and try to act according to the wise advice she gave me.
And I also know that somewhere in God’s Kingdom above, Mom is looking down at me and smiling, knowing that her love and guidance accomplished her plan.
Thank you, Lord, for my mom and her love. I look forward eagerly to being with her again in your Kingdom when this earthly life is done.
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