Dinner time used to annoy me. I get squeamish touching and smelling raw meat, but I can deal with that phobia. My annoyance had less to do with the food preparation than the family dynamics. We cooked for at least an hour, gathered our five kids, prayed and gave thanks to God, then listened to them joke and tease each other, and in ten minutes waved goodbye as they cleared the table and ran off to their video games or whatever. As they reached the teen years, it was even harder to keep everyone together, unless cake was served of course.
Now dinner is a fun, loud, competitive time. We are not fighting over who gets the biggest meatball or who has to exert energy, stand up, walk to the refrigerator and retrieve the milk. We are playing trivial pursuit. Split into two teams, each team gets a card and alternates in asking the questions. No board or rainbow colored pieces necessary.
Playing as a team takes the pressure off one person feeling stupid. I have memories of dreading Trivia. My brain used to freeze under pressure. And occasionally still does. Maybe a bit more than occasionally. Okay, my stupid brain freezes a lot, but I don’t care—we’re not playing to win a million dollars, just to win more time with our family. We usually stay at the table at least an hour, even longer if teams are tied. Because of jobs, college, and sports, we don’t always have everyone at the table, but even if it’s just one of them, we stay and play a round of trivia. Sometimes we have more than seven at the table—friends are welcome to join a team. The more, the merrier.
Last Sunday, the guest pastor at church mentioned how God wants us to linger in his presence. This reminded me of our dinner/game time. Our Father in heaven loves his family more than we can understand, so it makes sense that he wants to spend time with us. Jesus spent time with his disciples teaching, healing, but also eating, talking, and resting with them. And he wants that time with us too. When we linger somewhere, it’s because we are reluctant to leave what we are doing; we want to stay. God wants us to seek him. He wants everyone to come to him. The more time we spend in prayer and reading God’s word, the more we will learn about his love for us. It’s trivia time with our Heavenly Father.
Note: all verses are found in the NIV Bible unless stated.
Second note: we have played other games that work well at the dinner table too: Family Feud and Head’s Up on the iPhone