Dancing On Potato Chips

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 checkout lines were awful. By the time I got home, I was frazzled, sweaty and in a hurry to get something on the supper table for dinner. Deciding on Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, I grabbed the can opener, cranked open the can, then remembered I had forgotten to buy milk at the store. Nix the soup idea. I went to plan "B" which was leftover baked beans. I grabbed a Tupperware from the fridge, popped the seal, took a look and groaned; my husband isn't a picky eater, but even HE wouldn't eat baked beans that look like caterpillars.

Really frustrated now, I decided upon a menu that really promised to be as foolproof as it was 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. Nothing happened. I took a deep breath, doubled my muscle power and gave the bag a hearty tug. With a loud pop, the cellophane suddenly gave way, ripping wide open from top to bottom. Chips flew sky high. I was left holding the empty bag. It was the final straw. I let out a blood-curdling scream: "I can't take it anymore!"

My husband heard my unorthodox cry for help. Within minutes he was standing at the kitchen doorway where he quickly surveyed the damage: an open can of soup, melting groceries, moldy baked beans, and one quivering wife standing ankle-deep in potato chips. My husband then 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. 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. Eventually I began to laugh. Finally I decided to join him. I too leaped into the chips and began to dance with him. Now I'll 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 clean-up crew as much as I needed an attitude adjustment; the laughter from that funky moment provided just that.

So now I have a question for you, and it's simply this: Has God ever stomped on your potato 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 to clean up the mess I'd made of things. What often 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 after all.

Sometimes I sulk. Sometimes I join the dance. I'm working on doing more of the latter than the former. I guess the older I get, the more I realize that God really does know what's best. God loves me and is so completely trustworthy : even when the chips are down!

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