Supper with Shaq

Zach Galifianakis as Therman in Dinner For Schmucks

This December, CNN aired a special called “Dinner with the Kings.”  This was no “Dinner For Schmucks.”  Wolfgang Puck and his kitchen crew prepared a feast fit for the Kings and their guests.  Larry King and his wife Shawn gathered around their dining room table with a few close friends, including: super model Tyra Banks, comedian and actor Russell Brand, Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey, music producer Quincy Jones, cartoonist Seth MacFarlane, late night TV host Conan O’Brien, and NBA player Shaquille O’Neal.

That evening’s guests discussed everything from family to Shawn’s underwear.  They talked about friends and afterlife.  They were honest and vulnerable with the cameras rolling.  Tyra Banks shared that she is training to be more assertive.  Seth MacFarlane compared his shows that his mother likes to a child’s coloring page hanging on the fridge.  Russell Brand shared that he feels guilty about his material success.  I was surprised that a guy who plays the role of the idiot in his movies is so intelligent and socially conscience.  Most of the guests counted as blessings good friends that knew them before they became famous. 

I enjoyed the show more than I had expected and was often surprised by the diners’ comments.  I don’t think about the personal life of such celebrities.  I only think of them in terms of the characters they play in the movies, on TV, or in the news.  This supper club were intimately real while the whole world watched.

The most thought provoking comments came from Shaquille O’Neal.  He shared his bedtime prayer habits.  Shaq goes through a sort of checklist each evening which helps him determine the success of his day.  He seeks to live each day as if it were his last and his checklist is a good gauge of the worth of that day.  The checklist is comprised of questions like: Was I a good father today?  Did I make people laugh today?  Did I help someone in need today?  Did I laugh today?  Click here for a clip of this portion of the show.

What is your checklist?  How do you measure the success of your day?  What worth was your day in the lives of others?

This habit of Shaq’s is a self-examination of his actions aware of the Presence of God as a measure of accountability.  It requires us to be honest and vulnerable with God and ourselves.  This may lead to a confession that we have not acted as desired.  On the other hand, we may and rejoice in our behavior for having lived with the grace expected of a child of God.   Either way, we can rise the next morning conscious of the grace for the new day as we rejoice in the gift of another day.

May God protect you from harm and pain,
May you have a night of refreshing rest,
May you wake renewed for what the next day holds,

Rev. Tracy


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