Monday, April 15, 2013

The Thing About Pancakes


I wrote a post about the pancake breakfast. I realized I hated it. I planned to re-write it on the following day. Then I got the mini-flu. Today I’m writing about the pancake breakfast, a week and two days past my self-imposed deadline.
That is the pattern of my life: goals, intentions, plans. Followed by explosions of unexpected events that turn my plans upside down, making for one seriously wild ride. One might conclude it’s better not to make plans. But, if you don’t make plans, subterfuge can’t occur. While you may keep the wildness at bay, your life will lack that excitement that comes from the foiling of well-made plans.
Trust me on this one.
Then again, I’m not usually a super detailed person so I am occasionally surprised by the way things turn out. I’m a wonderful example of grace—good things happening to those who don’t deserve it. With that as our foundation, let me tell you about the pancake breakfast.
Two miraculous events that occurred leading up to the pancake breakfast came from my manager at the coffee shop I work at and my younger sister. A week before the event, I was wondering how I was going to pay for the food. Things had reached a point financially where I was having to go through my grocery list and prioritize between this is the food I need so I don’t starve and this is the food I can totally survive without.
Then bam: in the same week, my manager gave me 10 lbs of coffee to use for the breakfast and my little sister gave me the pancake stuff. This occurred without me mentioning to anyone the State of Finances. To be honest, I don’t know that I even mentioned the situation to God (of course he already knew but I kind of forgot to pray about it). I kind of thought this would be one of those last-minute provisions from Jesus, but I was very happy he gave me a week’s heads-up.
The day of the breakfast arrived. I woke up early and remarked to my sister who was hosting the breakfast (not the one who donated the goods) that she and I hadn’t really planned this event. I guess we’d reached the point where we’d done so many events together that we didn’t really need to plan. I think we had one meeting that went sort of like this:
Katherine: “Saturday the 6th work for you?”
Corrie: “Yeah, I’m free.”
Katherine: “8:30-10:30 sound like a good time?”
Corrie: “Yep, let’s do it.”
Katherine: “Groovy.”
That was about the extent of it and then we didn’t talk about it again until a few days before to give each other an update on our responsibilities--responsibilities that we never assigned. We just sort of knew that she’d handle the equipment and I’d handle the food and we’d both advertise and invite people. End of story.
Even with all of our detailed planning, things still had a tendency to go awry. The morning of, we realized the cord to our electric skillet was missing. We were already a skillet short, but we decided to make due. Then I opened a box to the skillet that someone had let me borrow. Turned out the box was deceiving and it was more of a mini-electric skillet. It might have fit 4 pancakes on a good day, but no more.
So 7:30AM I made a few phone calls and had one of my friends bring by a couple more skillets. It’s not every day you can rustle up 2 electric skillets with only an hour’s notice. (Give me a second while I Tweet that). That was its own little miracle. I have no idea what we would have done otherwise.
About 15 minutes til, we were warming up the skillets to make some test ‘cakes and realized the skillets weren’t getting hot. Turned out that all our extension cords were blowing the circuit. This was still happening when guests started arriving. I still don’t know how it got fixed, but I’m assuming my 2 brilliant sisters--with the help of my cousin and 80-year-old grandmother—were able to figure it out. They must have, because we had pancakes and bacon for everybody.
This is probably the appropriate time to mention my pancake flippers. They all did a fantastic job, cooking and keeping the coffee going. I didn’t have to think about anything. It was such a blessing and they were such a big help. I am so grateful for all they did so early on a Saturday morning. They showed the love of Christ to me in a very tangible way. They will never be forgotten.
The final miracle of the event was a real whammy. I’m still amazed, humbled, and totally in awe of this one.
I read “The Circle Maker” a few months ago. It’s a book about how bold prayers honor God. I guess I was sort of experimenting with the pancake breakfast. I had a ridiculous number in my head for the amount of funds I’d like to raise at the breakfast. It wasn’t a Holy Spirit number. God didn’t necessarily give me the number, I just kind of came up with a number that was outrageous but was about the cut-off for what I’d classify as a miracle. I didn’t tell anybody because I was embarrassed and didn’t want anyone to judge me. That amount was $1,000.
Now, being that it was a pancake breakfast and people were probably going to be giving $5 or so at best, I knew this was pushing things. By the time the breakfast rolled around, I would have been content with just enough to cover the rest of the food that wasn’t donated (even though I was secretly hoping God would do a little more that that).
Well, God must have decided my miracle wasn’t big enough and my prayer wasn’t bold enough. The pancake breakfast brought in a grand total of $2,000.
I guess it’s a good thing it took me a week to finally write this. I needed a week for the reality of this to sink in. I think trying to describe how I feel would take away from the awe and wonder of it, so I’ll just wrap it up.
The only conclusion I can make for certain is that I did nothing to earn this miracle. I didn’t pray hard enough or often enough. My faith wavered. My attitude consistently plummeted with self-pity and fear. The only conclusion I can make is that my God is so big, so strong, and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do.
And when he thwarts our plans and our goals it's ‘cause his are way better.

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