At my house, everybody used to help. But it seems it may be that way around the world. It is almost as much of a tradition as the meal itself. After hours of fussing in the kitchen and an equal amount of feasting, laughing, and dessert-eating we all seemed to bond again around getting the remains cleaned up. The table had been so full; there was barely room for our plates. A dish for everything and everything delicious. But with all the anticipation and most of the food gone, the dishes were piled on every surface and overflowing. From fine china to burnt bean casserole, the debris was everywhere. You would have thought we fed the 7th Marines. We didn't have a dishwasher, we had five of them--and dryers too. Wrap, box, bag and put away the leftovers and scale the mountain of dishes. Scrape, soak, wash, rinse, dry and put away. It seemed endless. Although the work wasn't fun, we all laughed and smiled. And just as you thought the last one was done, a few more just appear. Everyone pitching in, almost dancing in the kitchen. Although it was hot and sweaty, we didn't mind... we were family.
As we plan and prepare for our challenges, we eagerly anticipate the feast. Each aspect of our lives adds to our banquet. Some good, some a little overdone, but all prepared with care. And in the moment, we forget about all the hard work that it took to get us there and the challenges that await. For some, that may be the holiday buffet in our homes. For others, the promise of eternal salvation. But either way, it takes work to get there. And there will always be dirty dishes from our feast.
When I think back of those long gone days it is not the dishes I remember. It's the joy of being together. What were leftover were not the scraps but the love for each other. We got through that mountain somehow, and none the worse for it. Gathered around the kitchen sink, we washed ourselves of the other junk that remained. And we had piles and piles of potential in the clean.
Wash away what is done and move to your potential. Go ahead and use a new dish for each of your challenges--there is plenty of room on the table. It will fit. And when your day is done, take time to clean up and be grateful for those that have helped you enjoy your buffet. Our feast would have been nothing more than a sandwich without them. There is no such thing as leftover love. And without love, we would certainly starve.
Heaven may have an amazing buffet, but I sure hope that it has dirty dishes. Gather around and grab a cloth. Together, we can get it done. We can't have everything without the kitchen sink.