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Focused on what matters, letting go of what doesn’t

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Regina Andrews - published on 11/10/23

When our special night at an upscale restaurant turned out all wrong but taught me what's right. Isn't everything an occasion for gratitude?

It was going to be a wonderful night! It was my sister’s birthday, and we had decided to go out to dinner at a very special restaurant. 

Traffic was very heavy on the way there. But that didn’t bother any of us. We just knew that everything was going to be just perfect. We cruised into a nearby parking garage, and went into the beautiful, upscale restaurant designed with floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the Providence River. 

We checked in with the host, who informed us that the waitress we had requested was not available, and then led us to a table tucked in a corner next to the kitchen door — not the table we had asked for.

At that point, I was losing heart. But we took our seats, joined hands, and said grace. Twenty minutes later, our waiter arrived, took our order and disappeared.       

Forty-five minutes later, the servers exited the kitchen and took the short walk to our table. I was served chicken marsala — instead of the steak I had ordered. My sister’s was baked stuffed shrimp — not steak. And my husband got cold poached salmon, not fish and chips. 

Fuming, I went to find the host. I was livid. It was very important to me that my sister had a wonderful birthday dinner, and this was a total disaster. 

Back at the table, he apologized. My sister was a very good sport, and placing her hand on his arm, said: “These things happen.” 

Then looking at me, she continued: “None of this matters. What really matters is that we’re all together.”    

In that instant I knew she was right. I asked God to forgive my shortsightedness and thanked Him for her and her insight, and the blessing that she is.

Blinking back the tears, I answered: “You’re right, thank you. Everything is just perfect. Let’s have dinner.”


This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.

The Human Being Fully Alive
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