Who are you dining with?

Image: Photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Friday night, my wife and I attended the wedding of a great couple. There was a beautiful ceremony and great time of fellowship at the church. So, let me start out by saying congratulations Mr. and Mrs. TJ Canon.

Following the wedding was the reception! Normally, you would think about the food, the music, and clinking glasses to get the new Mr. and Mrs. to kiss.

For me, I get a little nervous regarding where will we sit. Is it assigned seating or do you find your own seat? Who will be sitting next to me?

The seating at this reception was not assigned. You chose your own seat and then others joined you at the table.

It is always an adventure. Sometimes you get a dud of a meal partner. Sometimes you get to rub elbows with some great people.

You know the duds. They have bad table manners, ignore others at the table, etc. It just leaves you drained.

Then there are the people who bring the table to life. They ask questions, make jokes, and try to make you feel comfortable.

Find me a man who’s interesting enough to have dinner with and I’ll be happy.
–Lauren Bacall

This was one of the nights that we got to rub elbows with some great people.

The first people that sat next to us were in the publishing business. They do business with the major Christian book publishers. It was inspiring to listen to them talk about the authors they worked with and who they rubbed elbows with. But that was not what drew others to them.

Their joy and love of life was infectious. You could tell that they loved their children and each other. The words they spoke were uplifting and encouraging. They also asked questions about my wife and I and others at the table. They included us in their conversations even though they did not know us.

The next person to sit down at our table was a friend of this couple. He had helped design the buildings in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. He also made you feel like you were a part of the conversation at the table. He shared stories of others from the area and gave you a glimpse at the history of the city. The thing I will remember most about him is the way he called people by their first name. He made it a point to address you specifically. It was simply marvelous to chat with him.

The final couple at our table was a husband, wife, and their daughter. They, too, made it a point to be inclusive of everyone at the table. Their conversation included everyone at the table. They shared memories of the newly married couple and made us laugh.

What does all of this mean?

Be prepared to rub elbows with other people. When you are in a situation where you can sit by yourself or with a group of people you do not know, choose the group you do not know.

Keep your mind open and enjoy your time with the people you will meet. You never know who you might run into and where it could lead. It could lead to a great friendship, a new contact, or even a job opportunity.

Question: Do you shy away from meeting new people? If so, do you think you could benefit from meeting new people? Please share your answers in the comment section below.

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