An Excerpt from Reaching for Insights: Stories of Love, Faith, and the Kitchen Sink, by Mitch Rosenzweig
At my house, everybody used to help out. And it seems it may be that way around the world. Why, it's is almost as much of a tradition as the meal itself. After hours of fussing in the kitchen and an equal amount of feasting, laughing, and dessert-eating we all seemed to bond again around getting the remains cleaned up. The table had been so full there was barely room for our plates. A dish for everything - and everything delicious. But with all the anticipation and most of the food gone, the used dishes were piled on every surface and overflowing. From fine china to burnt bean casserole, the debris was everywhere. You would have thought we fed the 7th Marines.
We didn't have a dishwasher; we had five of them - and dryers too. Wrap, box, bag and put away the leftovers and scale the mountain of dishes. Scrape, soak, wash, rinse, dry and put away. It seemed endless. Although the work wasn't enjoyable, we had fun, all laughing and smiling, everyone pitching in, almost dancing in the kitchen. And just when you thought the last dish was done, a few more would magically appear. It was hot and sweaty, but we didn't mind... we were family.
In the joyful moments we forget about all the hard work that it took to get us to the feast and the challenges that still await. For some, that may be the holiday buffet in our homes. For others, it is the promise of eternal salvation. Either way, it takes work to get there. And there will always be dirty dishes left over from our banquet.
So as you plan and prepare in your life, wash away what is done and move toward your potential. Go ahead and use a new dish for each of your accomplishments and challenges - there is plenty of room on the table. It will all fit. When your day is done, take time to clean up and be grateful for those that have helped you enjoy your buffet. Our feast is nothing more than a sandwich without them. Without love we would certainly starve. And there is no such thing as unwanted leftovers of love.
When I think back on those long gone days it is not the dishes I remember. It's the joy of being together. Gathered around the kitchen sink, we washed ourselves clean of any other junk that remained. And we had piles and piles of potential in the clean.
Heaven may have an amazing buffet, but I sure hope that it has dirty dishes. Gather around and grab a cloth. Together, we can get it done. We can't have everything without the kitchen sink.
In his new book Reaching for Insights: Stories of Love, Faith, and the Kitchen Sink, veteran clinical psychologist and social worker Mitch Rosenzweig attunes his therapeutic sensibilities to his daily landscape and uncovers life lessons for us all - treasures gained by observing the ordinary from an often amusing, and always positive, perspective. This rich collection of 200 brief essays penned from his personal and professional observations delights us and invites us to grow into better, more compassionate human beings. For more information, visit reachingforinsights.com.