Tonight, I met my friend Karen at our usual date spot. It is a reliable place, because we are always guaranteed a couple of things. Number 1, by the time we get there, which is normally between 6:30 and 7:00, the big rush is gone. (Their typical diners, I suspect, are on their way home by 5 pm.) Number 2, we are always greeted by either a warm fireplace, or a row of empty rocking chairs. Tonight was the latter. We wrapped up our meal, me guzzling a last bit of that sweet tea, (strangely we manage to eat while we talk), and we headed outside to sit on the rocking chairs of rocking chairs. It was a glorious night. We had a clear sky, and a gorgeous sunset.
Good ole CB, or Crackle Barrel (as I called until I bothered to read the sign at probably age 12). It is nothing if not consistent. The sweet tea, is always sweet. The gift shop is always full, and the layout is always consistent. Literally, every state the same.
I am nothing, if not inconsistent. I change my mind frequently. I decide a path, and half way to my destination, I create my own detour. I decide that I am going to do 31 different hairstyles in 31 days, and only half-way make it through day 1. I determine on Sunday night that I will be amazing and sparkling, and friendly to everyone, and five minutes from work Monday morning, I throw in the towel. Life is hard. And, quite frankly, I can be cranky.
Tonight, though, I was reminded again, that CB's consistency, and my inconsistency is far outweighed and out measured by the faithfulness of God. Some of you know exactly what I'm saying. I can look outside, and although I need to work on doing it more, I can see God's work in creation. I am reminded of God's peace in the middle of a bad situation. It is always up to me to determine if I am going to live the way I know I should, full of good attitudes, sugar, spice and everything nice, or if I am going to be cranky, and full of... snails? I know what I should do. It's easy when I'm at home, in my own little world, full of 2 living plants, and myself. God, however, God's faithfulness is not based on my current condition. He loves me regardless. He loves me despite consistent inconsistency.
I know, believe me, I know, bad things happen. Bad things happen all around us. I cannot explain it. I cannot give you a good reason. I cannot tell you why, or make it any better. I cannot. In those moments. Those bottom of the barrel, full of complete sorrow and agony, moments, that I can most see God moving. Now matter how I look at it, I cannot explain what happens. In the Bible it talks about a peace that passes understanding. You know, that quiet, calm feeling that you have inside, when everything in life is quiet and calm. Imagine experiencing that feeling in the midst of complete chaos. I have seen that. I have felt it.
I cannot explain it to you. I have sat with those in the middle of loss of the deepest kind, and although there is sorrow, there is peace. That, is God at work.
Cracker Barrel will be the same from state to state. And, even if you experience a bad biscuit once in a while, overall, you will always have a down home and tasty experience. I will probably never be completely consistent. My inconsistencies are even inconsistent. I will, however, try my hardest. I will get up and (AGAIN- I know, I am a work in progress, and I am consistently saying this) again give it ago one more time. But God. God will continue in His faithfulness. He will bring peace to those who look to Him. He will continue to give me do-overs, even if it's daily (it generally is for me- unless I sleep for a constant 24 hours). He will continue in this manner, without fail.
Great and Consistent is His Faithfulness.
Cracker Barrel's mashed potatoes, while excellent, can hardly compare.