I don’t talk to people on planes. I think it is terribly rude. In the past couple of years and hundreds of hours in flight, I have spoken to only a couple of people who don’t work for the airlines. I rarely even make eye-contact. However, recently I ended out sitting next to someone and somehow a conversation emerged that I found not only interesting, but illuminating. I later learned that the person sitting next to me was something of a rising star, but I didn’t know that at the time.
Midway through the flight while discussing the relationship between different cultures and food preparation, I confessed that my favorite thing was to have a meal and talk with people I love. My interlocutor immediately turned to me as asked if I was Jewish. I smiled and responded that I was not. “You should be. You would love Shabbat.” I imagine I would.
The conversation moved along, but that declaration has stuck with me. I’ve spoken to many people, even about Mormonism. But what has haunted me is the question of what someone might say to which I would respond similarly to my new friend. What would someone say to me that I would think: “You should be Mormon. You would love the Sabbath.”? And if not the Sabbath, what might someone love?
In my recent busyness I find it easy to not consciously observe my faith. With kids and meal prep and seminary and work and travel, it seems like just not falling apart is sufficient. I’m present and I execute. But in moments when I let myself rest, I see the fraying chords that bind me together. In those moments I see places where I can change–where I should. And even if I wouldn’t think “You would love the Sabbath,” perhaps I could say, “I love it.”