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All I Needed was a Cup of Sugar

By:  Donna Martin

I began making a delicious chocolate cake for our last family Christmas gathering when I discovered I needed one more cup of sugar.  I searched all of the sugar bowls in my cabinet, but none held even a teaspoon of sugar.  My plans had been to make the cake early in the day so I could clean the apartment, finish all the other things on my “to do” list, exercise and still allow myself plenty of time to fix my hair and get dressed for the party.  That was the plan; being short on sugar was not in my plans.  Hoping I would not see anyone I knew, I made the decision to wear my work-out clothes, forego make-up, and dash to the Kroger down the street.  I grabbed the keys and gave Mike a quick peck on the cheek as I dashed out the door.

I had not driven more than a couple of blocks when I heard a strange sound coming from the car.  “Is that a flat tire?”  I wondered.  I slowed down and turned into the parking lot which was behind Kroger.  I got out of the car and, sure enough, the back right tire was flat.  Having a flat tire was not on my “to do” list either.  I have never changed a flat in my life and, today was not the day I was going to learn to do that.  I did what any good wife would do – I called my husband.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, “I know you are busy, but I have a flat tire.” 

As if he had nothing better to do, Mike responded so kindly, “Don’t worry.  I’ll be right there.”

In a few minutes, Mike came to my rescue.  We took out the spare and the jack.  Did I mention that is was one of the coldest days of the year?  When we took the jack out of the truck we found out there was a piece missing, so we could not change the tire.

“What if we call AAA roadside service?”  I asked.

“That’s a great idea,” Mike agreed.

I called the number and Mike got in the car with me while we waited.   “Why don’t you go on back home,” I suggested.  “I know you have a lot of things to get done, and I will be fine.”

“No, that’s ok,” Mike answered as if he had all the time in the world.  Then he asked, “Is that the back of the Kroger store?”  He got out of the car and walked over to the opening in the brick wall in front of the parking spaces.

“Why don’t you go ahead to Kroger,” he suggested.  “I think you can walk around that way.  I know you have a lot to do, and you can get that done, while I wait here.”

It was a great idea, so I got out of the car and walked all the way around the building.  I learned that there is no back door going into Kroger.

I grabbed the sugar, and thankfully remembered there were several other things I needed to make it through the weekend.  I hurried to the shortest check-out line behind a man with a full basket.   Lucky for me a new lady opened the check out next to me, so I changed lines.  Unfortunately, she couldn’t remember the number she was supposed to enter into the cash register, so I had to wait patiently.  But I still had a little Christmas spirit left in me to extend the kindness and patience that Mike had extended to me.  After a few minutes she got it all fixed and I finished checking out sooner than I would have if I had stayed in the other line.  To top it off, just as I was gathering my bags, Mike pulled up in front of the store.  The tire had been fixed.

As it turned out the young man who had come to fix our tire was in need of a listening ear and prayer.  He was working long hours to support his family.  He gave Mike his business card.   Mike invited him to our church and told him he would pray for the man and his family.  The young man was very appreciative.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to live more in the moment.  I have a very hard time staying calm when things don’t go as planned.   But this year I want to remember that God knows the plans He has for us.  I want to look at interruptions as if they are divine appointments.  If I had not been interrupted by the need for sugar and a flat tire, Mike would have not encountered the young man in need of prayer. 

Life is full of interruptions, but as Jason Synder, a minister at our church said, “Nothing is a surprise to God.”  

Dear, God, help me this year to trust in you as you direct my paths each day.  Help me to look at interruptions as divine appointments.  Help me to live in the moment each day, so that I don’t miss an opportunity to experience the plans you have for me.

The Martins are available to present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at

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Reader Comments (1)

Great article Donna ... it made me think how along the way Jesus must have had interruptions to his busy life as well yet he always had time for others who were in need. If you look at the life of Jesus He was always seizing an opportunity (woman at the well), meeting people by chance (Lazarus) or taking a walk on the water (seeing fishermen in trouble) [ha]. Everyday was important to Jesus and He knew there were people who needed help so he didn't let something like being crucified interrupt his mission. Okay ... I might have stretched that part of the Bible too far because we are told He came to die but even Jesus had to pray about it (Gethsemane). Jeremiah 29:11 (look it up) God bless you Donna and your ministry ... Kenny

January 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKenny

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