You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
‘We are out of ink for the printer, can you pick some up?’ Such a simple request shot across my screen that I didn’t think twice. ‘Sure,’ I quickly replied as I loaded 2 of our boys up in the van. Lunchtime had come and gone as we finished up our monthly service project at a local non-profit in the neighboring town. Knowing we would pass a store on our way out, I quickly ran through my mental shopping list. You know what I’m talking about. All those random things you forgot on your last list but if you happen to be in the store again you should pick them up.
Surprisingly, I had nothing. The world very well might have stopped spinning for a moment.
What I did have was a hungry tummy and 2 hungry boys about to bite each other’s head off. ‘Perfect,‘ I thought, ‘We’ll run in the grocery side and grab a quick snack.‘ (Now pause, have you ever had a moment where you look back and say ‘what was I thinking?’ or ‘surely I never thought that possible?’ well, I have lots of those.) We quickly grab a small cart, head into the store and see the dreaded sign -CLOSED: TEMPORARILY OUT OF ORDER. The. Worst. Sign. Ever.
Great, I could have used the other entrance. The next thought through my mind is a line from a favorite cartoon.
Get in, get out, never be noticed.
As we jet down the center aisle toward the needed printer ink, there it stands before us. The snack mountain of doom in the form of big, round barrels filled with cheese balls. I’m utterly convinced the only reason large displays of such items are placed in the way of everything is to derail every mom on a one-item mission. Somehow between my youngest commandeering the basket handle and my oldest still moaning about the closed snack bar sign, our tiny cart and the display collide. Oh No! Oh Yes... Those barrels bounce. And roll. And clatter all down the aisle. Good thing there are three of us to scatter quickly and throw our bodies in front of the run-away cheese balls. (Can I please have a hood on this shirt?) Hurriedly, we gather barrels, re-stack the display and get our ink in silence.
I usher my, still-speechless, boys back to the van where we lose all dignity in peels of laughter while reliving the slow-motion avalanche. ‘I’m sure glad none of those tops popped off!’ one says. ‘Did you see how far that barrel rolled?’ the other cackles. No dear, I didn’t see, but I’m pretty sure the security camera guys did. They probably replayed it a dozen times, and got a much needed giggle added to their day.
Lord, the path I took today didn’t turn out as expected. You interrupted my serious, task-oriented plans and made it a day to remember. Thank you for the gift of interruptions and laughter. May I rejoice in having breath today.