A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dave's Deep Thoughts

Here's Pastor Dave McDowell's weekly devotional that he sends out to members of his church. Dave is my brother and serves as the Music Minister at Stewartstown UMC in PA.

Diary of a Shamrock Shake

It happens once a year,
it comes and goes like Christmas morning.
IT is Shamrock Shake Day,
otherwise known as St. Patrick's Day.

Even though they are sold well before the day of the Irish,
I wait until March 17th to purchase.
It is tradition.
It is something to look forward to.It is...Shamrock Shake Day.

Current readers might recall
that the last 3 years have been problematic for this writer....

'06 was the year of "I'm sorry sir, we are out of them."
'07 was the year of the shake that tasted more like a pistachio nightmare than mint heaven.
'08 was the year of the lady who had the cat with green cat diarrhea.

3 long years without an unadulterated shake.

Let it be said that in the year of our Lord, 2009, March 17.........

It was spectacular.

I continued my 3 year boycott of the local fast food restaurant
that serves the foamy greenery before Valentines
and then is out of them before March 17.
(see above)

I found the next closest establishment
and walked up to the counter.

"I would like the extra big, biggie,
and would you king size that please"

I held my breath waiting to hear some reason that I would be denied once again.
But there was none.

That will be $2.96 the cashier said.

I gasped as I looked around for something
that would interrupt this celebration.....
an armed bandit,
a skunk invading the premises,
a terrorist attack.


Just 4 cents returned
and 32 ounces of luscious thick green Shamrock Shake.
Here you are, sir.

Like a child ripping into the first wrapped Christmas present.....

Gulp #1
Absolutely amazing.
There is a tear of joy running down my cheek.
Somewhere off in the distance
I hear the Hallelujah Chorus.

Gulp #7
a homeless child with only one arm crosses my path
and looks directly into my eyes.
Sorry kid, it ain't happening.

Gulp #11
I am starting to feel that sugar buzz...
Bring it on baby!

Gulp #16
Someone is getting mugged in the parking lot,
but it doesn't matter....
Did I mention this is sooooo good?

Gulp #24
I notice that I have already consumed one-third of the shake,
better slow down I think.
it's 364 days till the next one.

Gulp #32
Sitting in my car
I notice the ambulance pulling into the parking lot to help the mugging victim.
Gosh, I hope he's alright
I think as I take another slurp.
Man, this would be good with some fries.

Gulp # 41
I begin to notice that this 32 oz cup
isn't much smaller than the fish aquarium I had in my college dorm room.
This is a lot of shake
I think as I begin to slow down.

Gulp #52
The ambulance has pulled out of the parking lot.
The homeless child is gone...
but more importantly,
my tummy hurts.

Gulp #64
I am down to the bottom third...
Can I get a to go bag for this? I think
Oh wait....this is a to go bag.

Gulp #71
The pace is definitely slowing down.
Not sure I can finish this.
Where is that homeless child?

Gulp #79
Looking for inspiration to finish,
I think of the July 4th hot dog eating contest on Coney Island,
when I realize that the carryout bag can also suffice as a barf bag
That's a very clever marketing technique, I think.

Gulp #83
Almost to the bottom,
I think I'll skip lunch today.

Gulp # 86 (the last gulp)
I can see the bottom of the cup.
Like a marathoner stretching for the finish line and the laurel wreath of victory,
I take one last lunge and siphon the bottom like a wet vac

There is nothing like the gurgling sound
as the straw begins to take in air rather than cream.

And there is nothing like the sweetness of fresh cream upon the first sip.

But what is at one time sweet and delicious
can turn sour.

Many things in life can turn sour,
attitudes, economies, relationships.

Nothing is guaranteed it's sweetness forever,
except for one thing.

And that is the Lord.

And I am so grateful that I don't need to wait even one day for Him.
And with him, He brings all other things
into it the sweetness of its season.

O taste and see that the Lord is good!
Psalm 34:8a

Happy Shamrock Day!
And congrats to Kerry Matson who was closest
in guessing the total gulp number!

Dinner is on me next time I see you!

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