10 years ago on this day, Andrew and Andria held each other’s hand, they pledged to be faithful to each other. They pledged from that day forward, for better, for work, for richer, for poor, in sickness and in health, to love and to church each other till death.
Tonight, both of them dress in their best as walk into the finest French Restaurant in town. Andrew plopped himself into the chair as Andria trailed behind. The french waiter gently pushed in Andria’s chair as she sat.
“Bonsoir Madame and Monsieur. My name is Luis. I am your server this evening. The sommelier will be with you shortly…”
“Don’t send the sommelier. We are not going to drink tonight.”, Andrew said bluntly.
“Oui Monsieur”, said Luis as he gently handed the menu to Andria.
“Meci”, Andria smiled as she studied the menu. Luis walked over to Andrew and handed him the menu but Andrew pushed the menu back to Luis.
“No need. We want prix fixe menu”, Andrew demanded.
“Monsieur, We have two tasting menus. The 7 courses or 5 courses…”
“5! Please put that in.”, Andrew said abruptly.
“Oui Monsieur. You have a choice of main courses…”
“I want whatever’s the fastest. You decide for me.”
“Oui Monsieur”, Luis acknowledged with an awkward smile. Luis turned to Andria, who is studying the menu in details.
“And you Madame?”
Andria looked indecisive. She turned to Andrew.
“Honey, for hors d’oeuvres, should I get the escargots or the friisee aux jardons…”
“The first one!”
“Yes! Yes! The first one.”
“I’ll have the escargot for hors d’oeuvres. and duck confit for entree.”, Andria ordered and smiled at Luis.
“Excellent choice, Madame. And for plats pour deux?”
Andria looked over to another table and said, “The cote de boeuf looks amazing! I’ll have that.”, Andria said decisively as she closed the menu.
Luis hesitated. He glanced over to Andrew who was busy checking various NBA apps on his phone.
“Are you out of Cote de boeuf, Luis?”, Andria asked and wondered.
“No madame. It’s just that that dish takes a little bit more time to make…”
Andria closed her menu and said, “That’s FINE, Luis. We have time. Thank you Lois.“
Luis acknowledged and left for the kitchen.
“Luis! Remember, fast!”, Andrew shouted a reminder to Luis.
“um….Oui Monsieur. I’ll do what I can.”. Another awkward respond from Luis.
Andria grabbed Andrew’s hand and said, “Isn’t this place wonderful…”,
“Honey! For crying out loud, this is a FRENCH Restaurant! Of course it’s nice!”
“I know. One of the best in town. I know you love good eats.”
“You don’t like this place?”, Andria asked.
“Of course I love this place. But Honey, out of every night, You HAVE to pick tonight to come to New York City to eat…”
“Because It’s our wedding anniversary.”
“I know! But there’s nice restaurants back in New Jersey too. Why here?”
“Why here? Because this is the best in the area. 3 Michelin stars…Star Chef Jean-Luc Moulin…”
“Honey! A restaurant right next to Madison Square Garden? Where the Knicks and Lakers will be playing the 7th game in the NBA finals? The traffic home is going to be horrendous going home!”
Andria let out a sigh of relieve and said, “Awe! That’s what you are worried about. The kids. Don’t worry about a thing. I told the babysitter that we will be very late, even past midnight if we have to…”
“Past midnight!!!”, Andrew screamed.
“Honey!!!”, Andria’s quietly said. Her face turned bright red as everyone starred at them.
Andrew’s phone rang. He looked at the caller id and and it’s his buddy Pete. He picked up the phone.
“Yo, everyone is here already. Where are you, bro?”, Pete asked.
“Umm…Manhattan.”, Andrew answered.
“Manhattan? Dude. Just tell me. Yes or No! There are only 6 seats in my home theater. If you are not going to make it, John will GLADLY replace you…”
“I’ll be there!”, Andrew answered abruptly.
“Alrighty! See you bro! Game starts at 9 so you have 3 hours to get here.”, Pete said and hung up.
“You will be where?”, Andria asked.
“Oh…um…I’m…after dinner, I’m just going to stop by Pete’s place for a short while…”
“You are going to Pete’s house on our wedding anniversary?!”, Andria questioned sternly, raising her voice and getting upset.
“Sweetheart, I know it’s our wedding anniversary…”, said Andrew apologetically. Before Andrew could finish explaining himself, Luis interrupted their conversation with the first course. Andria crossed her arms. She was not happy. Luis sensed the tension and said, “Bon Appetit!” and quickly left the scene.
Andrew grabbed Andria’s hand and said sincerely, “Andria, I know it’s our wedding anniversary and that’s why I am here celebrating it with you. OK. I am here spending quality time with you. Right here. Right now. Let’s just enjoy our time. Right here. Right now. OK!”
Andrew looked sincerely enough to put the smile back to Andria’s face. They talked about work and shared about the kids over the first entree. It is truly an amazing time where they could be alone with no distractions. Andria truly enjoyed that time with Andrew.
Luis came over to collect their finished plates and was hustled by Andrew, “Let’s hurry the rest of the dishes.”.
“Oui Monsieur. The kitchen is doing their best…”
Andrew looked at the time and it’s 7PM. He said, “Well, apparently not doing enough.”
“Oui Monsieur. I’ll check with the kitchen again.”
Luis turned and was about to head hurry the orders when Andrew him, “Luis!.”
“Oui Monsieur”, Luis returned to the table. Andrew slipped Luis a $100 bill, winked at Luis and said, “Maybe this could help.”
Luis’ eyes widened and quickly put the $100 in his pocket.
“Bring the rest of the plates out and wrap the dessert to go!”
“Oui Monsieur. Oui!”
“Don’t just stand there. Go. Chop! Chop!”
“Oui Monsieur”, Luis said and dashed immediately into the kitchen.
Andria stared at Andrew in disbelieve. She was very upset.
“Sweetheart. You must understand. It’s NBA Finals! Game 7! Knicks vs Lakers. Knicks might actually get a ring tonight! I need to be there to witness it.”
“I know you love the game. But why wouldn’t you watch it with me instead of with the guys?” “Well, it’s just…”
“It’s our anniversary!!!”, Andria emphasized.
“Honey! You really don’t understand.”, Andrew said.
“I am all ears!”, Andria said.
Dead silence! Andrew couldn’t justify anymore. And when Luis returned to the table with the remaining dishes, Andrew leaped for joy.
“Honey! Look at all the food. Let’s not ruin our anniversary. Let’s eat. Hurry! Mmm…is so good.”, Andrew justified as he stuffed his face and chowed down the food without even chewing and tasting them. Within minutes, Andrew waved Luis over and paid for dinner.
Andrew stood up, whipped the sauce from his mouth and said, “You know how it takes time to pull the car out from the garage. I am going to go get the car first. You take your sweet time in finishing your dinner. OK. I’ll meet you outside. But don’t take too long, OK.” Andria stared sadly as Andrew dashed out the restaurant door.
Andria stood by the cub of the restaurant with a gigantic bag full of unfinished food. A Young Boy and His Father walked passed her. The Son was crying and no matter how much the Father tried to comfort his young son, he wouldn’t stop crying.
“I want to be there!”, cried the Son.
“We will watch the game at home, son!”
“No! You promise to take me to watch Game 7 in the Garden.”, the Son cried.
“The seats are all sold out. I couldn’t even buy two tickets even if I spend my whole paycheck.”, the Father explained.
As the Father struggled to comfort his son, Andria tabbed the Father on the shoulder.
“Can I help you, ma’am?”, the Father asked Andria.
Before Andria could speak, Andrew pulled his car up to cub and honked.
“Enjoy this with your son. My husband and I won’t be needing it anymore.”. Andria handed an envelop to the Father and got into the car. As soon as Andria slammed the car door shut, the car pulled away.
“OK, I think I’ll make it to Pete’s house before the game. Cool!”, Andrew said as he starred at the ETA on the GPS home.
Andria starred out the window in her teary eyes in silence.
“Who were you talking to just now?”, Andrew asked.
“Someone who will be enjoying your gifts!”, Andria responded.
The Father opened the envelope and pulled out two tickets. It was two tickets to the NBA Game 7
finals. The perfect anniversary gift that Andria had initially planned to give to Andrew. Tickets to NBA Game 7: Knicks vs LA Lakers. That night: The Knicks won the NBA finals in their home territory in Madison Square Garden.
Is our relationship with God like Andrew’s and Andria’s? When God wants to spend time with us, we rush Him. We rush our devotions. We brush through reading His word, His love letter to us. Rather than spending quality time with Him, we turn our relationship with God as a checklist.
God truly wants to bless you in every way but when we don’t recognize His love for us and when we don’t spend quality time with Him, we lose out on our blessings. Don’t be like Andrew and lose out.