For the past several months, I have been working with a dear family friend who owns a hospitality business – specifically, a cafeteria. And while I have never been directly exposed to the food industry, except to eat, the essentials of the company are much the same as many other companies. One of the things that makes this very interesting is the fact that so much of the time is spent in front of the patrons; welcoming them, serving them and making sure that they have a great dining experience.
The business, Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, has been in business since 1988, and on Nov. 7th of this year, it will celebrate its 23rd birthday. That’s quite a run for a dining establishment and to be sure, Byrd’s has become an institution on the south side of Indianapolis in the suburb of Greenwood. In honor of the upcoming birthday, the Byrd family has been running an unusual promotion that began on Oct. 7th and will run through the anniversary week-end. That is, each day, one entree is being offered at a discount – the price is rolled back to it’s original 1988 price! This has created quite a stir in the community and the cafeteria is really quite busy. It’s great to see things hopping….
The first week-end, prices on the famous Ginny plate were rolled back to $4.23. That means that folks could buy a main entree with 2 veggies and a bread item for under $5.00. Each day, the entree is rotated and everything from soup to dessert is reduced at some point during the month. This idea got me thinking about what other things were going on in the world back in 1988. For example, Die Hard, with Bruce Willis, was the big movie of the year, along with Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman and finally, Twins. Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DiVito? Fuel was $.91 per gallon, a movie ticket was $3.50, a first class stamp was $.24 and the average new car was $10,400. A dozen eggs cost $.65, and Janet and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary!
Anyway, those of us who are older were already adults when 1988 rolled around, but for many people in the country, 1988 represents a time during childhood. We all have times that we remember from the past; for me it was the early sixties, and perhaps for some of you, it was way before that. But whenever your childhood occurred, one thing is for sure.
Most of us did things that we probably weren’t real proud of. In other words, we did stupid stuff, took unnecessary risks and made mistakes that we wish we could have avoided. I know that I wish I had been taught how to save money and make more responsible purchases. So many of the things I bought were luxuries that I really didn’t need. And although I did well in school, I wasn’t very faithful in those days, even though I was confirmed and joined the Methodist Church on the south side of Chicago. I was pretty self centered and most of the things I did were for my benefit, without too much regard for others.
Hopefully, as I’ve aged, I have become wiser and lead a more service centered life. Oh, I’m not anywhere close to perfect, but I am encouraged that I am a work in progress and God still has big plans for me. At least to some degree, I can see how far I have come in my journey. The verse for tonight is from 2 Tim. 2:22, “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” For me anyway, that’s great advice – words that I need to hear.
My encouragement is to let you know that you are also a work in progress and it is never too late to give up the frivolous desires of your youth and pursue more God centered motivations. Faith, love and peace are great goals for all us and my prayer is that God will bless your effort to attain these great qualities. Furthermore, I pray that you will will emulate a Christ-like behavior and you will extend grace to those who have not yet come to a similar place in their faith. Grace and Peace….