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AMANDA, BEN, PAPA MURPHY, AND A STOPLIGHT

Amanda and I were very, very hungry.

After a week full of drama from Amanda getting her wisdom teeth cut out, we returned home to Wake Forest to discover we had very little food left. So it was obviously time to go shop for groceries.

After our adventure to Wal-Mart – and the shock of how expensive groceries really are – Amanda looks over to me and says, “I’m starving.”

“Darling – we just bought a ton of groceries. I can go back and make you some dinner, and then we can curl up to a movie or something.” I told her. “Ya know. Have a relaxed romantic dinner at home tonight.”

“That sounds great.” She said, but then she started looking through our mail. “OH! I was going to show you these coupons though – if you didn’t want to have to cook anything tonight. I have a coupon for a fresh Pizza from Papa Murphy’s.”

“Well I don’t mind cooking for you – baby, but we could do that if you wanted to.” I responded.

“It doesn’t matter to me – but they had some good deals.” She said this and began to go through the coupons. I wasn’t sold on the idea of a Papa Murphy’s pizza. BUT – then I saw the very last page.

Behold – a chocolatey smore pizza – smothered in marshmallows, cinnamon ,and brown sugar. It was too much to resist.

With one look I declared, “I MUST have a Papa Murphy’s Smore Pizza! I SIMPLY MUST!” I pushed the gas pedal to the floor. I was rushing to do a U-turn – because Papa Murphy’s was already behind me.

In my haste, I notice that I can do a u-turn in the next intersection, but then I saw my arch-nemesis confront me once again. We simply call him the STOPLIGHT. With great frustration, I saw the traffic light change from a hopeful green glow permitting passage to Papa Murphy’s  to an abrasive, unyielding red stopping me dead in my tracks. So I began to wait.

The thought of a hot Pizza and a chocolatey marshmallow dessert taunted me – as I waited for this light to turn from red to green. Minutes began to pass by.  I stared at the light ,and the light started at me. It would not change.

 

 

“Is something wrong with this light?” Amanda asked.

“I don’t know – but I want that Pizza Smore thing.” I declared. “It had better not take much longer or me and this light will have words.”

Seriously – we had already waited over 5 minutes at this light and watched it turn for everyone else over and over again. Yet, it never changed for us.

Very somberly and quietly I stared at the light. While looking at its bright red eye, I say to Amanda. “I really hate this light – and I barely know it.”

“Maybe you should back up? Maybe you missed the sensor or something” She offered a viable possibility.

So I backed up my car, and we waited another 3 or 4 minutes – while everyone else passed us – yet again.

I was starting to get very upset. (Yes. Even Christian speakers can get angry.) “This light is broken. I might have to run this light, Amanda.” I spoke in frustration.

“Babe, just be patient. It will change.” She advised.

A car pulled up behind me. Then suddenly – I was delivered. The glow of the green freed me to continue in my pursuit.

A hot Papa Murphy’s Pizza and a 10” Smore Pie would soon be mine and Amanda’s to indulge in. So in great anticipation – I hit the gas. Nothing was going to stop me now.

I could imagine Amanda and myself sitting around our little dinner table enjoying our Papa Murphy’s Pizza and Smore Pie. I could imagine how romantic it would be by candle light – especially since I wouldn’t have to cook anything.

I knew what I wanted, and I wanted it now.

Now before I continue our story – I need to pause briefly.

For many of you in life – your primary goal is to be happy. You get in your head that you just need to be happy and that everything will be okay if you just get or do what you think will make you happy. For me – at this point in time – a Papa Murphy’s Pizza and a Smore Pie is all that I believe will make me happy. I was dead set on it.

A word of caution – dear friends. Amanda and I now believe that ridiculous STOPLIGHT served a purpose for us. A grand warning if you will. Sometimes in life you think you know exactly what you want, and you believe if you can get it – then you will finally be happy. But a word of advice – sometimes God will put some kind of STOPLIGHT in your way to try and slow you down in your pursuit of something that he knows will not make you happy – although you are convinced that it will.

Some of you might be pursuing a divorce or some boy or girl. You might be pursuing a promotion, a new house, or a new direction for life. You are convinced it will make you happy – once it is in your grasp. You can be dead wrong about it though.

That’s why there is a STOPLIGHT to try and get you to stop and think before you jump and act.

I will tell you how this evening turned out in my next post – but I assure you that Papa Murphy’s Pizza and Smore Pie was hardly the beginning of the romantic evening we had imagined. In fact, it could have easily been the most unromantic evening Amanda and I have ever had together.

So remember –  just because you think it will make you happy – doesn’t mean it WILL make you happy.   In fact, more people make themselves and others more unhappy by going after what they are convinced will make them more happy.

Until then….

****

If you are afraid you might miss part two of this story, subscribe or follow me so you’ll be sure to know when part two is posted.

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