I was talking to Laura on the phone and she suggested that I might go to an Irish restaurant on St. Patrick's Day for a "first." I loved the idea. So, I take out my phone and pull up a restaurant app and type in Irish food. It would seem from my results that the Irish are not famous for their food in Birmingham. I did find a place that was doing some Irish specials today, but not until after 5:00 p.m. That was not a good fit for my schedule.
I finally located an Irish pub on my app and even though it was out of the way a bit, I thought it worth doing on St. Patrick's Day. It was located not far from UAB (not where I was at) which is a busy area and parking is not easy. It took me a few trips around the block to locate what I thought was my restaurant and find a parking spot. I fed the parking meter (something we don't do around here) and walked to the restaurant. I had a hard time finding it because it had changed names. When I walked up to it, I found out it was also closed. Rats!
Well, I decided not to hunt another Irish restaurant since I was parked and had an hour and a half on my meter. I walked a couple of doors down and found the Original Pancake House. I've never eaten there before but it did not seem like much of a "first." I go in and find that the menu says it's the most copied menu in the world. Quite a claim; also kind of sad if it's true. The most copied menu in the world is pancakes??? Not seafood, not Asian, not Mexican, not American, not New York pizza, not Fondue but pancakes? Anyway, I ordered peach pancakes which I've never had before. I ate peach pancakes at the Original Pancake House in Birmingham for my "first." I have to admit this did not seem very exciting for my "first" today. I was a bit bummed.
Me ready for Irish food
Quite a stack of pancakes with plenty of whipped cream!
As I started eating my pancakes, I was bummed out because I was missing out on a good Irish "first" on St. Patrick's Day. Neither pancakes nor peaches sound Irish; they sound more like Clanton, AL or Georgia. As I started eating I realized that I was letting the fact that I was missing what I really wanted to do rob me of the joy of doing what I was doing. The pancakes were good. I could either choose to enjoy the pancakes or mope about what I was missing. The restaurant that I called that was having an Irish special at 5:00 was having corn beef and cabbage. Truthfully, I think I like peach pancakes better.
On mission trips, we call this being flexible. That's because things change quickly on the mission field and you just can't let it upset you. You have to make the most of the opportunities that God puts before you and not be bummed if it was not what you thought or planned. One of my last mission trips it seemed that our schedule got changed every hour or two. You have to be like Gumby (you may have been wondering how Gumby was going to fit in this blog assuming you read the title); you have to be flexible. That's also true here in the U.S. in every day life. Life is not always going to work out like I had planned. I can get bummed out or I can ask God how to glorify Him in the situation I'm in. I have found that complaining about a situation rarely improves it. I would guess you've found that out as well. I've also found if I can be flexible and ask God how to glorify Him and make the most of whatever situation I'm in, it almost always goes better. I'm guessing you've also discovered that.
You might have a day at the beach planned and it rains. You may have planned a day to go shopping and a child gets sick. Maybe you have a big storm right before church and you have a small attendance that day. Well, you can't change those things; so let's keep asking the question, "God, how can I glorify You and make the most of this situation."
Grateful for the abundant life in so many different situations
3 things I thank God for today
1. Peach pancakes
2. A friend's successful surgery
3. A God who is never surprised