Life here is not what I expected. I’ve told my friends, family, and fellow team members this many times. I don’t know exactly what I imagined; I suppose I sort of pictured us all living together in a tent, going off on life-saving wilderness expeditions a few times a week. The reality is, I live in a mice-infested room in a dorm attached to a bar surrounded by the most incredible views of nature you could hope for. I work a lot, as a server in the restaurant here in Mammoth Hot Springs, but I also get out in the park at least a couple of times a week.
Mammoth Hot Springs is the base for most things in the park. All the employees, regardless of where they end up working, spend at least a day in Mammoth, and many of the park administrators are also based here. This being true, we get a lot of VIP’s in the restaurant; mainly high-up park staff and owners of the concessionaire company here. They like to come into the restaurant where I work, where I serve fancy things like bottles of wine and curry mussels and bison sirloins.
The other day, I was waiting on a table that I just knew was VIP. Normally, when we are about to get a VIP table, the hostess will alert the server, kitchen staff, and manager so we can give them the best service possible. Every now and then, though, a VIP table will slip through unnoticed and it’s up to the server to recognize. I knew I had waited on this man before, but for the life of me, I just couldn’t place him. I asked my manager to come out on the floor and tell me who he was. She did, but then just looked at me, rather confused. “Sara,” she said, “this man is not VIP. He’s a nobody.” She went back into the kitchen.
I thought that maybe he was just a local or something, a familiar face but without extreme importance. At the end of the meal, I finally asked him who he was. Graciously, he responded that he’s the superintendent of Yellowstone National Park.
I tell you this story because it really fits with what God is teaching me. Why did it matter if this man was a VIP or not? As Christians, we need to treat everyone as VIP’s. Look at Jesus – he was always going around, talking to the “least of these” like they were “the most of these.” He had more time for a prostitute at the well then he did for Pharisees.Today, as we go about our business, let’s remember that God doesn’t value the same things that we humans do. After all, “man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Today, my goal is to treat every table of guests that I wait on like VIP’s, every person that I come in contact with as a person of great importance. The reality is that they are! If we believe that God created each person by His own hand, then that also means we need to treat every person with dignity and respect.