Hello everyone! I thought I would write about something a bit different today. (Don’t worry, if you are following my story I will post again soon with an update.) I wanted to tell you all, as the title implies about my midnight McDonald’s adventure.
Many of you may not know that I have been inwardly struggling with whether I should stay in Idaho or move back to Colorado come May 15th. I have been mulling over the pros and cons of this struggle for weeks and have often come back to the notion that God may not give me an answer until the last minute. This notion is not unfounded as I know that God knows, that I like plans. And I hate not having a plan. This means that if I have no plan, I have to rely on Him to supply the plan and the means, which in my sinful pride makes me grumpy, stressed, and question just about everything.
Now just a bit more context to this story, I suck at directions, especially at night on Idaho roads. Ask any of my friends, unless I have been to a place multiple times, I need someone or something directing me there. (And even if I have been there multiple times, there is no guarantee I won’t get lost once and a while.)
So now that you have that info, you now understand that my decision to not use a map during this 24 hour McDonald’s adventure at midnight had the potential to get me very lost. But, I was feeling stubborn and figured I would drive until I found something, even if it was not the 24 hour McDonald’s I was looking for.
I did know one key piece of info, where I was headed was on a major road I crossed all the time when I went to work. This meant that I knew at least what road to drive down, but not which direction. So I set off, hungry, upset, and just generally asking God why it was so hard for me to not have a nice set plan for my life like other people seem to have.
As I drove through the dark streets and looked at the houses all dark as people were now asleep or headed to bed, I wondered what it would be like to have a home in Idaho. What would it feel like to be able to have a place that I owned, which I could just go home to and feel… purposeful? I quickly ignored that thought as I searched for the one street I knew I was headed for.
I did end up getting lost once, but a quick turn around and a few streets later I found the street I was looking for. As I drove up to the street, I realized that it was one of the ways I had taken to go home for the summer from college. I wondered if I would ever drive that way again, or if Idaho is where I was going to stay. Again, my emotions overwhelmed me and as I turned right to go down the street which I knew the McDonald’s was on, but not where; I cried.
Now driving and crying are not really a good combination, especially at night. It kind of makes everything even harder to see as you are driving. Through blurry eyes, I looked for the 24 hour McDonald’s, but I didn’t see anything. I passed a few places I had heard of before, but had never been to and wondered if perhaps I should have turned left and not right at the intersection. I figured I would drive a few more blocks and then head back to my dorm room, hungry or not, I didn’t feel like looking anymore for a place which I might not be able to find.
As I turned right at an intersection to head back, I realized it was a dead-end that had a gas station and…. a McDonald’s. There is no way it’s the one I am looking for. I thought to myself, not believing that I had just happened upon the place I was looking for. I decided that I would go inside the gas station and investigate, because if this McDonald’s was not the 24 hour one, at least I could get food at the gas station.
So I headed inside, got myself an ICEE and then looked over at the McDonald’s part of the store. From where I stood, it looked like they were closing up for the night. So I figured I struck out and headed back to my car. On a whim, I opened my phone and looked up the address for the 24 hour McDonald’s, I figured if it was not too far away, I could just drive there now that I had something to appease my hunger until then.
I looked it up, and there was the blue dot telling me that I was indeed at the 24 hour McDonald’s. I stared at my phone in disbelief.
There was no way I just found it on accident.
I never find a place I have never been to on my first try… especially without directions.
But there it was, telling me I was indeed in the right place.
I drove around to the drive-through. Ordered my food and then parked my car.
What I had realized is that just like my trip to McDonald’s, my own life felt like a tear-filled drive through the dark, down streets I barely knew and places I had only heard of. Yet, God knew my destination and got me there. Even when I walked up to the actual place I was looking for and didn’t even recognize it.
While you could say this whole story is just coincidence and statistically I would have found the McDonald’s at some point, I really don’t think it was a coincidence. I really believe that God wanted me to understand, that He knew and knows what path my life will take. While I may not have all the answers or know all the directions, He will make sure I get where I am going to. And while right now my life may feel like unlit streets and confusing paths and I don’t have all the answers about where I should live, I now understand that God’s view of my life is not the same as mine. He knows what my heart cries for and what my dreams are, but He also knows what paths are best for me and how to get me to them.
So overall what I learned tonight is that God can take someone who feels directionless and out of control and tell them He is the one in control and who has all the directions by directing them to a McDonald’s at midnight.