Well, another day has passed at the Greenbrier. Before we get here each visit, we set forth an agenda of things that we think we will do. I usually bring a book, we think about going to the artist colony onsite and the President’s Cottage where many of our chief executives have visited throughout the years. Sometimes we visit the tennis center or the golf shop down by the famous courses here at the Greenbrier, where Sam Snead was the pro until he passed away. He was born here, in White Sulphur Springs, you know… Now Tom Watson has become golf pro emeritus.
Today, we even visited Lewisburg, WV, a town about 8 miles west of here where Mr. Jim Justice, the current owner of the Greenbrier, lives. In all the years that we have travelled to this magnificent resort, we have never set foot in Lewisburg. And while it isn’t necessarily a place that I would want to move, it was enlightening to see how the locals live and we even came across a Civil War Cemetary where 95 unknown Confederate soldiers from Lewisburg where buried in a mass grave after being killed back in May, 1862 during an early morning battle with Union soldiers than came to be known as the Battle of Lewisburg.
We also visited the Greenbrier Christmas Shop down by the Amtrak depot where people can arrive here at the Greenbrier by train. In fact, in the old days, and this place has been around since 1788, people used to ride the rails to “partake of the springs.” The trip to get an ornament seems to have become a ritual, almost like going to eat at Draper’s and seeing our daughter’s namesake, Jill Burks.
But one thing around here never changes. Each morning, Janet and I head down to the dining room and enjoy the breakfast buffet together. Of course, the spread is really over the top. I won’t bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say that we generally skip lunch and have a light dinner after starting our mornings at the buffet. We generally like to sit near the back, in a beautiful yellow sunroom type of area and invariably, we are served by somebody who has worked at the Greenbrier for decades.
For some reason, we can always tell when someone new is being trained or whether we have one of the incredibly seasoned and wonderful members of the staff. Today, Brenda served us. She was remarkable. I finally asked how long she has been serving meals in the dining room – she told me that she has been there more than 37 years… And the service showed. Great old world charm… when she recognized us as repeat visitors, she ran back in the kitchen and brought out two cinnamon buns, the kind they used to pass out at breakfast years ago. Because now, they are a part of the buffet, but it’s not quite the same as when you get them right from the kitchen, piping hot.
I think that regardless of what other things may change, Janet and I are pretty set on breakfast in the dining room – without fail. And whenever possible, we like to have a server who has been there since the old days, when the old southern charm was at its height. Because there are scores of workers who have been there for years – and they are consistent and reliable.
Come to think of it, Jesus is reliable as well. No matter what other things in your life change, Jesus remains constant. You always know what you are getting and his attention to you is unending – even better than Brenda’s. And that should give each of us some comfort, just like breakfast in the dining room. Time with Jesus is just the way your day should start – it just gets you going in the right direction.
Tonight’s verse speaks to the consistency of God in our lives. Jesus tells us, in Rev. 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” That’s right – the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. You can count on that.
My encouragement this evening is that God is dependable and consistent. You can always depend on God to be there, serving your needs and making sure that you are taken care of. He doesn’t stray and the quality of his relationship with you never wavers. My prayer is that you will give God His due. Sometimes, we take God’s interest in us for granted – and that’s unfortunate. Because we should be paying the same attention to Him that He is paying to us. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…