Not too long
ago I had "one of those days". I was feeling pressure
from a writing deadline. I had company arriving in a couple days
and the toilet was clogged. I went to the bank, and the trainee
teller processing my deposit had to start over three times. I
swung by the supermarket to pick up a few things and the lines
were serpentine. By the time I got home, I was frazzled and
sweaty and in a hurry to get something on the table for dinner.
Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, I grabbed a can opener,
cranked open the can, then remembered I had forgotten to buy
milk at the store. Nix the soup idea. Setting the can aside, I
went to plan B, which was leftover baked beans. I grabbed a
Tupperware from the fridge, popped the seal, took a look and
isn't a picky eater, but even HE won't eat baked beans that look
like caterpillars. Really frustrated, now, I decided on a menu
that promised to be as foolproof as it is nutrition-free: hot
dogs and potato chips. Retrieving a brand new bag of chips from
the cupboard, I grabbed the cellophane and gave a hearty pull.
The bag didn't open. I tried again.
happened. I took a breath, doubled my muscle, and gave the bag a
hearty wrestle. With a loud pop, the cellophane suddenly gave
way, ripping wide from top to bottom. Chips flew sky high. I was
left holding the bag, and it was empty.
It was the
final straw. I let out a blood curdling scream. "I CAN'T
TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!"
heard my unorthodox cry for help. Within minutes he was standing
at the doorway to the kitchen, where he surveyed the damage:
can of soup, melting groceries, moldy baked beans, and one
quivering wife standing ankle deep in potato chips. My husband
did the most helpful thing he could think of at the moment. He
took a flying leap, landing flat-footed in the pile of chips.
And then he began to stomp and dance and twirl, grinding those
chips into my linoleum in the process! I stared. I fumed. Pretty
soon I was working to stifle a smile.
had to laugh. And finally I decided to join him. I, too, took a
leap onto the chips. And then I danced.
Now I'll be
the first to admit that my husband's response wasn't the one I
was looking for. But the truth is, it was exactly what I needed.
I didn't need a cleanup crew as much as I needed an attitude
adjustment, and the laughter from that rather funky moment
provided just that.
So now I
have a question for you, and it's simply this: Has God ever
stomped on your chips? I know that, in my life, there have been
plenty of times when I've gotten myself into frustrating
situations and I've cried out for help, all the while hoping God
would show up with a celestial broom and clean up the mess I've
made of things.
happens instead is that God dances on my chips, answering my
prayer in a completely different manner than I had expected, but
in the manner that is best for me. Sometimes, I can see
right away that God's response was the best one after all.
Sometimes I have to wait weeks or months before I begin to
understand how and why God answered a particular prayer the way
he did. There are even some situations that, years later, I'm
still trying to understand. I figure God will fill me in sooner
or later, either this side of Heaven or beyond.
Do I trust
Him? Even when He's answering my prayers in a way that is
completely different from my expectations? Even when He's
dancing and stomping instead of sweeping and mopping? Can I
embrace what He's offering? Can I let His joy adjust my
attitude? Am I going to stand on the sidelines and sulk, or am I
willing to learn the steps of the dance He's dancin', with my
needs in mind?
honest with you: Sometimes I sulk. Sometimes I dance. I'm
working on doing more of the latter than the former. I guess the
older I get the more I realize that He really does know what
He's doing. He loves me and I can trust Him. Even when the chips
Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths."
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