Monday, May 16, 2011


I was at a fascinating restaurant the other day, it was called Brasa.
It was as simple as it gets; metal tables in a semi-sweltering room,
open to the outside at every available crevice, a beautiful but teeny
patio with umbrellas and a cool breeze, and an hour long wait. The food
was reported to be delicious and worth the wait.

The hostess was a little girl, well, she looked like a little girl to me, but I’m
fairly certain I have lost all sense of age. She was probably in her
very late teens or early twenties. She had hot pink canvas tennies with
one tongue cut out over a new tattoo and reddish curly hair bunched up
in a band on the top of her head. She was that scary skinny that most
teens seem to be these days. As a table opened, she bussed and wiped
each one while watching the door for new customers. Then she would run
around to each person on her extensive waiting list and ask if they
wanted a table indoors or if they were going to wait for the patio. She
continued the process until she found someone who was willing to sit
inside. She repeated this pattern as the occupants of each table
finished their dinner.

During the long wait and into our leisurely dinner, she became increasingly stressed. 
She had several tables to bus and one demanding, waiting, patron who was doing the
restaurant equivalent of “are we there yet” and repeatedly asking her
how soon until they were seated. She still treated everyone with
respect, but you could see the tension ratcheting up with each passing
moment. We were commenting on how huge her job was and how exhausted
she must be at the end of the night, when my brother (in-law) called
her over. Her thoughts showed on her face and you could tell she
thought John was going to give her grief about something. He looked her
in the eyes and said, “You are doing a great job, but you need to
stop…take a deep breath…and relax for one second. Then you can go back
to work.” As he spoke and she paused to breathe, you could see the
tension roll off her shoulders and a peace steal over her. She went
right back at it, but was more serene and not so driven.

I wonder how often God wants to say the same to us as we run around in
our crazy busy lives, forgetting to breathe, forgetting to love,
forgetting to live. Imagine the Father saying to you, “you are doing a
great job, but you need to stop…take a deep breath…and relax for one
second.” Something in us immediately jumps to the “but I’m not doing a
great job, look at me, I’m so busy I can’t even keep my days straight,
much less work on a vibrant, growing relationship with God!”

Stop. Breathe. Relax.

The Bible talks about our “well done,” it comes from somewhere else. Romans
3:22-24 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ
to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. You are doing a great

The pace of our lives seems to grow on a daily basis. Once
upon a time, you got up, ate breakfast together, went to work or school
and came home to dinner together. Now it seems we can barely remember
the names of the people we live with and love. We are ships passing in
the night, and that is only our private lives. In the world, we have a
very fast moving government, a slow moving economy and uncertainty
every time we hear the news. Stop. Breathe. Relax. The Bible says it
this way. John 16:33 (BBE) I have said all these things to you so that
in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble: but take
heart! I have overcome the world.

Just like that young girl at the restaurant, take a moment to hear. 
“You are doing a great job, but you need to stop…take a deep breath…
and relax for one second.” Take a moment to just breathe for a second 
and then go on about your day and
the many things you do in life, with His peace and His rest on your
shoulders. Remember, Jesus is here, and he asks you to

By the way, the food really WAS worth the wait!
777 Grand Avenue
Hours:St. Paul, MN. 55105
11am - 10 pm 7 days a week
651-224-1302 info / private parties 651-224-1628 take out

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