From 1986 to 1995 I was blessed to serve on the staff as youth minister at First Baptist Church in Haskell. Those were some of the greatest years in my family's and my life. We have many fond memories from, and still have many friends in, that part of the world.
On occasion I will take verbal information into my head, then convince myself I can surely remember the details without making any kind of note. Sometimes this has caused a debacle in my scheduling — and my life. So it was one spring day in Haskell.
One of the sweet ladies in church had recently lost her husband to death and was really having a difficult time adjusting to life without him. She invited my wife, Robbie, and me to her home for lunch on the next Tuesday. I accepted the invitation. I didn’t tell Robbie. I didn’t write it down.
The next Tuesday rolled around and I went to the office as usual. At noon, I made the short drive back to our house for lunch. Robbie had cooked a wonderful meal and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so much that, best I can remember, I had seconds of everything on that table.
It was a warm, spring day and after having finished eating, I made my way to our den and my easy chair, knowing I had ample time to kick back for a snooze before going back to the church office.
Just as I leaned back in my chair, the phone rang. I answered. It was Helen. Very softly she asked, “Randy…..aren’t y’all still coming over for lunch?”
What was I to do? Knowing her emotional state I sure couldn’t say, “Sorry, Helen……I forgot.” So instead I said, “Yes, ma’am! We were just about to leave!”
I jumped up and told Robbie of the situation. Within a couple of minutes, we were on our way to Helen’s. For lunch for lunch. Again.
As expected, Helen, had also prepared a wonderful meal. Much food was placed on the table and we sat down, trying as best we could to act hungry. Robbie wasn’t a big eater, so small portions on her plate seemed natural. But Helen had seen me eat meals at the church. She knew I loved good cookin’.
I remember eating the first round and Helen handing me a bowl of, I think, mashed potatoes.
“Have some more,” she said. “There’s plenty!”
What was I to do? Knowing her emotional state I sure couldn’t say, “Oh, no ma’am…I’ve had enough.” So instead I said, “Thanks!” and ate another round.
Then came the dessert and coffee.
I remember leaving Helen’s house that day, extremely uncomfortable, with no time for a nap. It made for an interesting afternoon. But Helen was happy.
Life’s an adventure. I’m livin’ it up!
Randy McLelland, a.k.a. Randy Mac, is senior pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church on FM 202. He plays the role of "Grandpa" in The Promise and, through his “Livin' It Up” ministries, is a motivational speaker and Christian entertainer.