Praiseworthy Portillo’s

(This conversation started with Think Better)

Ella said, “What is something you know to be praiseworthy?”

“You mean like Portillo’s Italian beef?” I said.

She rolled her eyes. “I understand that you like it,” she said. “But as an alternative to worrying about world peace or getting a post written, that’s not exactly profound.”

11329747_10153328229952008_5513271349665257428_n“I wasn’t thinking about the taste,” I said. “Or not just the taste. I was thinking about the time that a friend and I decided that it would be okay to stop in the middle of a trip and spend the time to get a sandwich that I enjoy. And to introduce him to the sandwich. And the delight that he had in the taste and the gratitude I felt that he was willing to stop. Our friendship was deepened just a little that day. Our understanding that God created taste buds and relationship and the idea of time invested in stopping rather than being wasted in rushing.”

Ella laughed. “You have actually thought pretty deeply about that sandwich stop. Why do you remember it?”

I hesitated. I didn’t really want to tell her. “I think it’s because that stop revealed some things I didn’t really want to see. I don’t like admitting my drivenness. I don’t want to acknowledge how often I assume that people don’t want to be inconvenienced.”

“I’m not sure I understand,” Ella said.

“I wanted my friend to get home to his family. I overestimated the amount of time that it would take to stop. But he is just as committed to being a friend as I am to not being a burden.”

“So living through that event, and seeing the smile on his face as he ate that sandwich, and knowing that he is a friend has been worth thinking about?” Ella asked. “Is that why Paul saw value in thinking about true and noble and praiseworthy things?”