Airport Interactions vs Dinner Table Dialogue

Last week I spent 2 days in meetings with a team of men working on a project where each one was at the table because of the particular area of expertise in which each excelled. We spent many hours engaged in the what’s and how’s and why’s of getting this project out to the public.

As I drove away from the airport where I had dropped them off for each one to fly back to their respective homes, this life lesson from our last 2 hours together struck me.

After all the intense discussion and to-do lists were mapped out and we were done, we went to eat. As we sat at the table, the conversation relaxed and lightened to laughter and random topics. No agenda. No pressure. No rush. Just connection and sharing on a personal level. Everyone was enjoying the moment.

Then I took the same men to the airport. Cars trying to hurriedly navigate in and out from the curb drop-off. People focused on their bags, IDs, boarding passes, and where they are about to go. When you pull in to a parking spot, a security officer is walking around to be sure no one stays more than about a minute. Everyone gets out and starts grabbing bags. Rushing is the norm there. Someone wants your spot so you need to drop off and move along. Quick handshakes and thank you’s and it’s over. Everyone moves on with life.

Question for today: Is most of your life lived at the “airport curb” or at the “dinner table”?

Sure, we all gotta put in the work time. That’s a given. But do most of your engagements with people feel like an airport drop-off or an encounter at the dinner table? Rushed, fast, and frantic or focused, take-your-time, and intentional?

Imagine this for a moment …. Jesus yells at the disciples and says, “Guys, come on! Get those loaves and fish passed out! This is taking forever. Get these people fed. I have a 4:00 healing to get to!” Or “Sir, I am really sorry your daughter died but me and the disciples have a prayer gathering at the temple we are already late for.” … Ridiculous? Absolutely. But why do we know these scenarios are ludicrous and never happened? Because Jesus operated on GCT—God Central Time. He never lived life at the airport curb, so to speak.

You know, the majority of the time we rush is because we believe the next thing we are going to do is far more important than the thing we are currently doing. The person we are meeting with next offers far more opportunity than the one we are with now. The irony and fallacy of the human existence.

As humans, we will never be able to stop every airport curb moment in our lives, but we can certainly choose to sit at the dinner table with more people than we do now.

Many words rush along like rivers in flood, but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs. —Proverbs 18:4 MSG

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