This was one of my most memorable Father’s Days. That comes as somewhat of a surprise because I wasn’t with my family. But I was with one of my children, so I felt like a dad. Chandler and I were in Chico, California, getting familiar with what, Lord willing, will become his home in the fall as he begins attending Butte College, about 12 miles outside of town, where a special training program sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has caught his eye. Chandler wants to be a game warden.
So, after checking out a dozen apartments, we were ready to head back home when we passed this colorful shack on the side of the road and a sign over the door for Sipho’s Jamaican Restaurant caught Chandler’s eye. Without thinking, he slammed on the brakes, backed up, and announced we were going to eat here, which we did. We had a marvelous time, but for the 104-degree temperature and no air conditioning — yet that somehow made it feel like we had gone to Jamaica. We did, actually … Jamaica in Chico.
Seriously. Who could have had a better Father’s Day? Well, certainly if I could have had my other son and his family and my daughter in from Hawaii, that would have been splendid. But the family has already decided; we’ll be getting with Christopher and his family next weekend, so I’ll have two Father’s Days.
But here’s the special part about this. Who would have ever thought about this place? I didn’t wake up and announce I wanted to find a Jamaican restaurant for Father’s Day. Farthest thing from our minds. And who would have thought this place would catch Chandler’s eye? We were in the middle of nowhere. We weren’t thinking about restaurants. This was clearly organized by our social organizer, the Holy Spirit. And you’re thinking: What does God care about this? Well, He cares a lot. When Marti and I were dating, this kind of thing happened quite often. We’d come upon something we never would have thought of that turned out to be very special. We used to joke about the fact that God held our social calendar. And why not?
I thoroughly enjoyed that dinner and the time with Chandler, being conscious, the whole time, that God was up to something, and this was it.