Hello Friends.  Alan Here: Today was blotto.  Largely in bed with tired body but my mind was racing about.  This process actually started late last night.  My doctor has added some steroids into my list of IV drugs and, positively, I find that it helps with the post-dose nausea and improves my alertness during the hangover period.

During this “alert” period last night it came to me what God was trying to tell me in Five Guys a couple days ago.  (If this is confusing read the previous post)

First off I have a disclaimer: I tumbled and rolled a little bit this afternoon thinking of how best to express this and I decided that a little coarse language was necessary.  As such:

After college at the prestigious College of Charleston, my best beer-drinking buddy John Martin (he’s one of those guys who is seldom regarded as either “John” or “Martin”…”John Martin” does just fine) and I grabbed an apartment in Mt. Pleasant, SC.  As the crow flies, maybe three miles from downtown Charleston.  We apparently still had some childish behavior to flush from our systems.  On a not so unusual Friday afternoon, John and I make it home from work and the following conversation ensues:

“Hey, Dove, whatcha want to do tonight?

“Well, I was thinking we’d go to Arizona’s for a drink.”

“Yeah, Dove, that sounds pretty happening.”

“I’d say so.  It should be pretty cool.  You’ve got that bartender that likes you and gives you free beer and I’ve decided to live a little dangerously and Tammy, Katie, and Catherine will ALL be there (editors note: separately, and unaware that I was dating all of them concurrently).”

“Well, Dove, all I’ve got to say about that is that you’re making yourself a big Shit Sandwich and you’re gonna have to eat the whole thing.”

Noun

shit sandwich (plural shit sandwiches)

Something highly undesirable, such as very bad situation. Phil’s jokes generally go down like a shit sandwich.

So, John, indeed, was right.  The evening was exciting AND did result in a nice Philly Cheesesteak-sized Shit Sandwich (SS) for me to eat.

In this case, I built my own SS.  Constructed by bad behavior and lack of integrity.  Bite by bite, it was mine to eat.

In other cases, I believe that God allows Shit Sandwiches to be placed before us in order to draw us to him or to accomplish things in this world that can further His will.

Lastly, I think that God can also allow Shit Sandwiches to be placed before us a punishment.

I did a database search of the Bible and got 156 results for the word “Rejoice.  These speak to times that the Lord wants us to rejoice.  The first ones are more obvious.  The later speak to times that we might would rather wallow in self-pity.

There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.
Deuteronomy 12:6-8

And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household.
Deuteronomy 26:10-12

And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household.
Deuteronomy 26:10-12

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:23-25

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:23-25

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:11-13

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
John 16:19-21

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
John 16:19-21

But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
1 Peter 4:12-14

That’s were I was the other day.  Medicating a sad mood with a Five Guys Double Cheeseburger….Stat.  I looked around, first critical, then envious of others’ health status.  Then I noticed that mine wasn’t the only Shit Sandwich on the proverbial table (Dear Five Guys, Inc., this is metaphorical speak, I know that your sandwiches are 100% beef).  I now realize that God wants me and you to eat the Shit Sandwich of our making of His allowance onto our table AND REJOICE.  Yep, I’ve got a bunch of tumors I don’t want.  But He expects me to Rejoice.  Sure, you may have financial problems, but He wants you to Rejoice.  Marriage going rough….you guessed in, He wants you to Rejoice.

She might really wish Mom had packed her a Gatorade

And she might not want to walk 5 Miles with the water for the day.

He hates his job.

He should...

This is a worrisome situation...

As much so as this?

Struggling Marriage

Struggling loneliness

God gave us this free will.  I’m guessing he gets a kick out of seeing what we do with it.  He knows and is the source of all joy that we have (whether we recognize it our not).  I think he wants us to Rejoice so that we can share that joy with Him.  Ever give a gift and hear nothing about it?  How much more awesome to hear that the Ronco 5000 you gave me for Christmas has changed my life!!!!!

So, we all have our shit sandwich to eat.  In some cases it’s ALL yours.  In other cases, friends and family hop up to take a big bite.  In all cases, God wants us to praise Him, His Glory, and His Power in the midst of this ignominious ingestion.

I’m glad that the answer to my lunch at Five Guys came to me.  I’m sorry if my choice of words offended any.  Sometimes coarse is accurate.

Thanks for your prayers.  Pump comes off tomorrow.  So far, pretty good round of chemo.  Be good.  Love,

Alan

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