I am married to my best friend, mom to 2 grown children, grandma, educator and interior designer. Blessed beyond measure!
It was the 1980s and Six Flag's Astroworld was the place to be for the summer in Houston, Texas. My family had season pass tickets and we spent many days riding the amazing rides and enjoying time with friends.
Summers were hot, but still, the amusement park was always epic. Riding all the rides. Daring friends to ride one they were scared to ride. Eating high priced burgers and having funnel cakes.
Having season passes allowed me to take friends and spend the day getting well earned sunburns and exhaustion. The kind of exhaustion that feels good from the memories that they day brought. The kind of exhaustion that would bring a hunger that comes from sun, fun and heat.
One particular summer my family, along with my childhood friend, Tara, spent the Saturday, all day, at Astroworld. We walked the entire park, rode as many rides as possible until we were beat and ready to head home.
This Saturday, all was normal fun and games. What happened on the way home was one that I have never forgotten.
KFC Drive-Thru or Dine-In
After our long day at Astroworld, we headed home. We had not eaten since lunch and were famished. My parents decided we needed to grab something to eat. We were looking at our options on the way from Houston north to Huntsville. We passed some burger places, but had already had that for lunch.
We wanted something different. We spotted a Kentucky Fried Chicken place about 30 minutes from home. Chicken sounded good. Why not?
We pull into the dark parking lot. We sit there for a minute or two. Mom and Dad were trying to decide if we wanted to eat in or go through the drive-thru. Mom would mention that we were all tired, maybe head home. Dad would mention the mess trying to eat in the car. Driving and eating fried chicken was not an enjoyable idea to him.
Finally, several minutes later we head to the drive-thru. Tara and I are sounding off what we want to order. Mom and Dad are still, annoyingly so, weighing the pros and cons of the drive-thru. Tara and I are getting hungry and whining about wanting to eat.
Dad backs out of the empty drive-thru and heads back to park. They sit in the car and, seemingly, forever discuss, yet again, where we should eat.
Dad starts the car again and they agree to go back to the drive-thru. They mentioned that the parking lot was almost empty. We would be the only ones in KFC eating at this late hour.
About 10 minutes, passed with about four changes of minds, four moves of the car back and forth between the drive thru and the parking lot. Tara and I are just ready to eat.
It Is Decided - Eat In!
Finally, beyond frustrated and annoyed with the indecision, we park and begin to walk into the restaurant. Tara and I are bouncing around talking about the rides that were our favorite ones at Astroworld. Mom and dad are tired and quiet.
We walk into KFC. The restaurant has no other customers. There was, however, someone exiting the building from the opposite side door than the one we entered from. We are indeed the only customers left in the restaurant. Nevertheless, we walk up to the counter. Mom steps up to the counter to place our order.
The cashier, and a couple other employees, are standing behind the counter looking frazzled. The cashier, in a shaky voice, tells us in no uncertain terms that we would not be able to pay in cash. She explains that they do not have change to give in the register.
With trembling hands, she waves at the door that someone had just exited through. She tells us that they had just had an armed robbery. The person that had just left had held them at gun point. He had stolen all of the cash and ran out the door.
Delay Had Been a God Send
We are stunned. We had just missed being in the restaurant when the robbery was happening.
The indecisiveness that had annoyed all of us. The lack of quick decision for where to eat kept us from being victims. What felt like an unreal amount of changing our minds had ended up keeping us from walking in mid-robbery.
To this day, I know that God put that indecisiveness within my mom and dad. That chaos of choice kept us from being robbed and possibly killed for a burglar's greed. The late night had hidden us from him seeing us. We had been busy driving back and forth from the drive-thru to the parking lot and back again, again and again.
Something that I remember being so frustrating was exactly what had kept us safe within our car.
The Bible says in Psalms 140:4
"Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
Preserve me from violent men
Who have purposed to trip up my feet."
Since that day, I take things that delay me with less frustration. I know that God very well could be working those for my good. God keeps me from the violent man. He purposes my feet. He even gives purpose to me when I trip. Purpose when I run late. Purpose when I get delayed by a train. Purpose when the little things get, in what feels like, my way. God has purpose in every moment.
Romans 8:28 tells us, '… We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 April McMichael