Last week, Jim and I had a night out. We had been planning for a couple of weeks to attend an event at the Philadelphia Seaport Museum for ORU Alums in the Philly area. The new Chairman of the Board, Mart Green, would be hosting a Q & A session after a buffet dinner at the Museum. Since his family's $70 million donation to the university, ORU has been making many campus and other improvements and this gathering in Philadelphia was an attempt to keep Alumni informed and excited about what is happening back in Tulsa.
We had Jim's parents lined up to babysit and we left the house around 6:00 as soon as his mom arrived. The dinner started at 7:00 and the Q & A forum at 8:00. We knew we didn't leave ourselves much time for unexpected delays, but we figured at the worst we'd arrive about 15 minutes late to the dinner. After only about 25 minutes of driving we hit serious traffic. We kept telling ourselves it would clear up any second, after we got passed this stretch of highway or after we got passed that mall. But it didn't clear up. And we found ourselves arriving in the city just before 8:00.
So we weighed our options. We had wanted to be responsible Alumni, but since the dinner would be over, was it worth it to sit through an hour of questions when we were starving and this was a rare night out of the house without any kids? After our grumbling stomachs convinced us to skip the event altogether, we started putting together a new plan. Jim pulled out his iPhone and in 60 seconds had directions from our current location on the highway to Rittenhouse Square where we knew there was a fantastic steak place we had been to about 4 years ago.
So we changed our course and after arriving at the square, took on the next challenge of finding parking at a meter somewhere within the vicinity. After driving around for 10 minutes and not seeing anything in any direction, we were about to give up and head to another restaurant when miraculously a car pulled away from a meter directly in front of us, only 30 feet from the steak house. I almost cried as I felt this sense that God was somehow orchestrating our evening for us, even down to the parking. We breathed a prayer as we walked toward the restaurant that we wouldn't have to wait to get a table since it is strongly recommended that you have a reservation at this particular place. And as expected the hostess greeted us with "Do you have a reservation?" "No" we replied. She looked at us and asked "Is it just the two of you?" "Yes." And at that simple reply, she lead us to a table at the front of the restaurant overlooking the Christmas lights on the square. It was perfect.
We took full advantage of this surprising change in plans and ordered calamari, the house salad, and the most exquisite fillets you could imagine. And, to end the already amazing meal on a sweet note, we split a piece of carrot cake that turned out to be way more than we could handle. So we left with a doggy bag full of steak and carrot cake and hearts full of a romance rekindled. We didn't realize until we were in the moment how much we needed dinner out together. We talked and flirted and laughed and soaked up every moment. And I know that the whole time we had been looking forward to attending the ORU function, God was looking forward to surprising us with a more perfect night out.