Words of Worth

Keep Your Fork

July 22, 2011

Often after a speaking engagement that went well, or after a good visit over a cup of coffee, Cammy will say to me, “That was good, but the best is yet to come. “ Every time she says that I wonder how she can be so sure and I wonder how anything can be better than the good things we already experienced? But the more speaking engagements and cups of coffee I experience with Cammy, the more I realize that indeed things only get better and the best is yet to come.

Likewise, often after a good meal, the waiter or waitress will say, “Keep your fork.” It is not an uncommon saying but when I first heard it, I remember wondering if the fine dining establishment was a little low on silverware and if so, how could such a nice place run short on essentials. But the more experienced I became with dining, the more I realized the reminder to keep the fork was very commonplace and had nothing to do with food utensil shortage but had everything to do with the dessert that was coming.

What’s the connection between Cammy’s prophecy of the “best is yet to come” and the waiter’s reminder to, “keep your fork”? The connection is a story that a friend recently told me about a woman who was planning her funeral because her death was imminent. The dying woman’s Pastor came to her house to help her with her final wishes-which songs to sing at the service, her burial outfit, and a strange request- “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.” Of course the Pastor didn’t understand this unique request so the woman explained a story her grandmother once told her. Her grandmother always remembered that in all of her years of attending dinners and socials, when the main course was being cleared, someone would lean over and say, “Keep your fork.” It was always the grandmother’s favorite part of the event because she knew that phrase signaled that something better….the chocolate cake or the creamy cheesecake…was coming. The best part of the meal!

So the young woman wanted to be viewed in her casket with a fork in her hand so that people would ask, “Why is there a fork in her hand?” And when they asked, the Pastor was to simply tell them, “Keep your fork, the best is yet to come.”

At the funeral, people did indeed question the fork in the woman’s hand. Repeatedly the Pastor heard the question, “What’s with the fork?” and finally during his comments at the service he was able to explain the symbolism of the fork, the grandmother’s story, and the encouragement that their friend had a good understanding of Heaven–that Heaven was the best that was yet to come!

Cammy has a good understanding that as good as things are, “the best is yet to come”. Most wait staff have that good understanding too, when they remind us, “Keep your fork”.

How about you? Do you have a good understanding that as good as life can be sometimes, it’s important to remember, “Keep your fork….the best is yet to come!” (SV)

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
John 14:1-3

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