Burgers and Quality Time!

When I was a boy living in the county seat town of Vandalia, we didn't have the larger fast food chains. We did have a smaller franchise by the name of Reabans. I don't ever see them anymore, but they were dotting the landscape in central Illinois during my growing up years. They featured an affordable burger that, as I remember, was close to the "smash burger" varieties we see at Freddy's and Steak 'n Shake today. 

Centralia, Illinois
Image Credit: pinterest.com

Some burgers are valued by their weight, height and overall size. There are pound burgers, half-pound and one-third varieties with all kinds of toppings added. The Reaban's burger was modest by comparison, but often you could buy a sack of five and sometimes seven of them, for only a dollar! That was impressive to a teenager!

During my early high school years, my dad would take me to school in the morning and pick me up around 4:00 pm in the afternoon. On occasions, he would swing by the nearby Reaban's and we would sneak a burger and cola before supper. Now, mother was very discerning, She suspected that dad and I were doing this a little too frequently and would watch how eagerly we would come to the table for the evening meal. She would glance at our plates to see if we were eating all of our food. If things didn't look right to her, she would ask the dreaded question, "Joe, did you and Mike stop to get a burger on the way home?" 

Dad had often coached me to simply keep quiet because he said, "Mom does not need to know everything!" But, I would get so nervous with mom's interrogating us that my fidgeting gave me away! She would persist until dad would have to admit, "We had a little something!" Mom would then fly into a little fit and state, "Well then, I'm just going to stop fixing these meals if you are going to eat before you get to the table!" Those words alone caused me great concern!!😓

Every time I visit my hometown today, I go by what used to be the old Reaban's. I think about those years when dad would pick me up after school, and we'd pop into the burger joint. What a precious time it was for me! Several years ago, Gary Chapman wrote a book titled, The Five Love Languages. This work is still in print and is helpful in understanding how each of us uniquely gives and receives love. Some fuel their emotional "love tanks" through one of five primary sources; words of affirmation, small gifts, acts of service, meaningful touch or quality time.

My two love languages are words of affirmation and quality time. The latter one suggests that I receive love through undivided or focused attention. Chapman says that when we give as little as twenty minutes of our time in focused attention to another, "We are giving twenty minutes of life!" When dad would take me to get an after-school burger, he was giving me his time and when you are self-employed, if you aren't working, you are not getting paid. I know now how precious dad's time really was! Those twenty minutes at the counter were times when dad invested in me and told me that he loved me!

Jesus' close friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, often invited him to their house in Bethany for a meal and fellowship. Luke tells about the time when Martha, the task oriented sister, was upset with her sister, Mary, because all she wanted to do was sit in Jesus' presence and didn't care to help prepare the meal. A frustrated Martha barked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work... tell her to help me!" Jesus chided and reminded the sister busily cooking, "Martha, Martha, you are worried about many things, but Mary has chosen what is better..."  Jesus was giving and receiving quality time from Mary's attention, and he said, "It will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42).

Who do you need to encourage by giving them some of your time today? A friend, family member, or neighbor? Pray and ask God to slow you down so that you are able to identify them. Then, ask Him to help you to spend twenty minutes of time with that someone who needs to be shown the love of Christ in and through you. By doing this simple act of giving yourself in this way, you just may be giving them the twenty minutes of life they desperately need! 

Blessings as you give some quality time away this week!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent. 
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com 


  1. On our trip from Texas-Albuquerque - California - Nevada - Utah - Colorado - Missouri - Oklahoma - home in Texas, my wife and I have been contained in a car and all kinds of eateries and invested a great deal of time. Coming into last week, we have reflected on the incredible Beaty of God's country and in snow storms the protection of God has been evident.

    I realized that I have two choices-"spend time" or "invest time!" It is always a choice..


  2. A blessing to the giver snd a blessing to the receiver which in the last month I have been the receiver, we sre blessed


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