Lunch time typically brought on a fair amount of anxiety for me in elementary, middle, and high school. What if no one wanted to sit with me? What if I approached a table and everyone pretended they didn’t see me or said there were no seats left?
Magnet school, public school, parochial school – it didn’t matter where I went, I would regularly dread lunchtime.
In middle school, there was a strict limit of 6 people per table. The group of four girls that I wanted to sit with (because they were popular, of course) were guaranteed a spot. The remaining 2 seats were up for grabs. Sometimes, I got one and sometimes I didn’t. When I did get that coveted seat, I felt special and worthy. Yea, everyone, look at me. I’m accepted.
Now, I’m in later 20s, and all of this stuff is ancient history.
But, recently, I was reminded of those awful feelings as I was falling asleep listening to a Hallow lectio divina on the Gospel of John:
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.
It brought me this beautiful realization that Jesus has saved a seat for you and for me. Not only that, but he will also come and get each and every one of us and bring us to that seat because he wants to be with us. He delights in us! He doesn’t just say he loves us and calls it a day. He loves us and wants to spend time with us, all of time. Forever and ever.
Naturally, I couldn’t keep this to myself because I surmise that many of you have also felt like there was no seat saved for you, but be assured that the King of Kings who sits upon a throne is saving you a seat and he wants to bring you to it.
P.S. If you’re reading this and you’re still in high school or younger, please know that popularity (which I used to worship) is so trivial. I look back and laugh at how much I cared about being “popular”! I honestly can’t even remember the names of many of the so-called popular people and I only graduated from high school 10 years ago!