God and Cheesesteak
This is a short story about God being in charge.
I’m on a low-carb diet, but this isn’t about my gut-reduction plan; this is about God being in charge.
It’s just that the low-carb thing factors in. So, here goes. Somebody I trust tells me – in excruciating detail – how delicious a sandwich is at a certain establishment. Well, you don’t eat sandwiches on a low-carb diet (I cheat some on the weekends, but that’s beside the point because this conversation about the sandwiches wasn’t on the weekend).
Back to the point …
Things – like sandwiches – are MUCH more tempting when you can’t have them. Right? And immediately after the sandwich conversation, I’m making a trip back to Conway from Myrtle by myself. A slight detour will take me toward this allegedly carbolicious sandwich place. Should I? Shouldn’t I? I’ve never been there before. Do I even know how to get there? It’s early afternoon, and if I’d eaten earlier I wouldn’t be fighting this battle … and losing.
So I do one of those ridiculous make-a-deal-with-God prayer things: “Lord, if You want me to eat there, give me a break in traffic and a clear way to go directly to this place.” I know, I know. God is dealing with real issues like Sudan, global economic woes, and Red Sox pitching. Don’t judge me.
But, like Moses had waved his holy rod or something, the traffic parted and a possible road appears, and I take it. (This way, the lapse in nutritional discipline could now be rationally blamed on a God mighty enough to smite carbohydrates. Can I get an AMEN?) You aren’t going to believe this, but the road THAT I’VE NEVER TAKEN BEFORE IN MY LIFE leads me to an intersection ONE BLOCK from the sandwich place. THIS has to be a God thing! Glorious sandwich, GET IN MY BELLYYY!
But the place is closed.
CLOSED. Locked up. Lights off. Chairs upside-down on table tops. Cue the “Debbie Downer” music: Waa-waa-waa-waaaaah … It was one of those moments when a preacher needs a heathen friend there to say something contextually appropriate.
Or so I thought.
Before I could walk the 12 feet back to the van, a truck pulls up beside me. Inside the truck is a friend who’s been going through heck, and it’s his fault, and he knows it. After 2-3 minutes of small talk, we are talking about the most important things. Gospel things. Man things. Family things. Things that need to be fixed, and fixed God’s way. After 10-15 minutes, tears are flowing and there’s a new commitment from him to live all of life God’s way. 30 minutes later a text message from him about how desperately that “coincidental” encounter was needed.
Coincidental? Not a chance. Pun intended.
Only the God who is in charge of the universe can use the momentary weakness of a still-too-fat, carb-deprived preacher to set up a counseling appointment in a 100-degree parking lot at a closed restaurant.
Sooo amazed at God. Sooo still want that cheesesteak.