This last Friday, our church provided breakfast for the staff of Quail Valley Elementary School where we meet on Sundays. This was our way of saying thank you to Principal Pena and the rest of the staff for allowing us to invade their sacred space.
The staff had a training day that morning, so we arranged a nice breakfast spread from Panera Bread. If you've ever had their egg soufflés, then you can just add that to your file of more evidence that the Lord is good. We had four varieties of the soufflés and an assortment of scones and pastries and bagels, along with some fruit bowls and oatmeal, topped off with orange juice and three different coffees.
This also came with a spiritual lesson -- God is in control. This is something you would think I would be aware of, being that God's sovereignty is a big Bible theme and all. But this is a hard truth for control freaks like myself.
So, that morning, Panera Bread is supposed to deliver all these goodies between 7:15 and 7:30 a.m. Well, I don't know if they had issues with the Big Bad Wolf on the way, but they didn't arrive until 8:05 a.m. The teachers and staff were supposed to eat between 7:30 and 8:00. Needless to say, I was waiting outside with my cell phone in hand, not because that's the closest thing to a weapon I could find, but because I was on the phone several times with Panera trying to get an ETA on their delivery person.
They finally showed up and I bit my tongue.
I feared that our breakfast would sit uneaten and that this goodwill campaign which was meant to be a blessing was now a just missed opportunity.
Well, when Principal Pena saw that breakfast was here, she just had the staff take an early break so everyone could eat. But before she dismissed them, she let me say a few words to the staff.
I introduced myself, told them we meet here on Sundays and understand (because we have several teachers in our congregation) that their classrooms (especially at the elementary school level) are their sacred spaces. "We just want to be good neighbors," I said, "So, please let us know if you ever see anything out of place." Then I simply said thank you and goodbye and they all had breakfast.
On Tuesday, I happened to see Principal Pena and she said, "You're sure popular around here." I told her I was happy to hear that, because "I was afraid the breakfast might be cold." She said it was still hot and everyone loved it. Then she added, "But did you get a discount?"
We did. They gave us 35% off and dropped the delivery fee, plus we get 20% off our next order.
But I'll probably be picking that one up myself.
It's hard for control freaks to let go.