The 4 hour meal

Sometimes you have an experience that shakes things up, refocuses or reinforces something you hold dear. Sometimes it’s in those “mini-moments”, those moments that transpire within the blink of an eye. It might be catching your child playing across the yard with unhindered joy, or a glimpse of someone dear to you that seers their value within your heart. It might be a passing sign that sparks a thought or a fleeting gaze upon something beautiful.

Sometimes those experiences take longer…

While returning from a recent overseas trip, I was struck by a couple occasions that took the form of an experience much longer than a simple moment, but wrapped within them, was a profound reminder.

They were the four hour dinners we had.

One dinner was at the beautiful, quaint, but full of love home of a national in country. Her family prepared all day for our arrival and the joy experienced there was palatable. The other transpired on the outdoor patio of a German pub. It was a meal bathed in the noise of the street and filled with laughter, stories and hearts growing closer together.

Each was full of food, love, chatter and friendships going to next levels.

Each reminded me that relationships matter most!

I guess in the world in which I typically tread – the one that runs on the speed of fast-food fuel ups, quick-to-the-point conversations, calculated and crafted hallway meetings – the clock controls and constricts relationships from developing. It dictates their development to stay shallow and strangles their ability to take much root past the acquaintance accolades and small talk.

True relationship development & maturing: Just. Takes. TIME.

The kind of TIME a 4 hour meal provides…

If you feel like you need to deepen your relationship with a co-worker, friend, family member or child… maybe a 4 hour meal can do the trick. It might be filled with mini-awkward moments as you push back your agenda and need to fill the space with conversation, but it will be worth it.

Just a thought from a guy who is wanting to practice the 4 hour meal a little more, so I’m continually reminded that relationships matter most!

So, here’s to chewing and talking with your mouth full and to the lingering around a table near you. Let me know how it goes.

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