Since the beginning of the pandemic I have been cooking breakfast for my wife, Lori, every morning. I don’t offer the full-service menu like you find at Olde Tymes Restaurant or Amanda’s Pantry. It’s been either fried eggs or pancakes. Sometimes, I add home fries, bacon or tater tots.
I’ve always been a breakfast person. I get up early. Breakfast gives me the fuel I need for the day. For years I’d go out and get it. Whether it was a bagel at Dixie Donut or an omelet at Joy’s Restaurant, it was as much a social time as it was anything else. I’d grab my food and sit and enjoy the people and the experience.
Over the last four years my schedule has changed. In order to keep my diabetes in check, I would get up early, grab a bowl of cheerios, kiss Lori good-bye, before heading off to the YMCA. Many mornings I wouldn’t make it back before she left for work.
The pandemic changed everything. The YMCA was closed. All the breakfast places were closed. When this started, I was still up at 6 a.m. I took the dog out. Made a coffee. Because I was feeling a lot of pent-up energy, I decided to take a walk around the block.
Lori and I are blessed to still be going to work every day. On that morning in March I came home and was looking for something to eat. That’s when I decided to surprise Lori by cooking breakfast. It’s been a good way to start the day in a world where everything has changed. I like cooking and I have enjoyed doing it for her. The bonus is that we start the mornings together.
There is one problem. Getting the timing right is tricky. It’s not like a restaurant where you sit at the table and wait for your meal to appear. My goal is to have the food ready when she is ready for it. I get it right about 50% of the time. That’s how it is when you are dealing with people.
It’s funny how God always seems to have perfect timing. The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time for every matter under heaven ....” Faith tells us that all things work together for good in God’s time. Let’s be honest: We’ve all done a lot of waiting over the last few months. Waiting for a return to normal. Waiting for things to change. Waiting for God to act.
We want God to change things. But maybe he has? Could the answer to our prayers be right in front of us? Maybe God is using this time to slow us down. Maybe he wants us to look around and see the blessings of family, friends and little things that we often miss.
I am reminded of a J.R.R. Tolkien quote: “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time given us.”
Too many of us say we don’t have the time. Perhaps the truth is that we don’t make the most of the time God has given us? The Good News is that it’s not too late. We can still redeem this time. Blessings are all around us in even in the middle of an upside down world. Sometimes they just look like a breakfast sandwich with someone you love..
The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Westerly.