Hard Rock Ice-Cream Café

The Sunday before leaving on our Eastern Canada vacation, my children had been invited to play for the Sunday morning services at a local church. Naturally, we were blessed by our children's music, but we were doubly blessed by the terrific sermon that we were also privileged to hear. The pastor spoke about Jacob and his experiences running away from home that led up to the night he spent at the "Hard Rock Hotel". He then proceeded to make us all aware that we often find ourselves in similar situations!

"Good sermon," I though, "But not applicable to me right now! We're leaving on vacation in a couple of days. Things are going great!" I had no idea that I would soon undergo my own unique hard rock experience . . .

It was while we were experiencing our first official "vacation" activity - visiting King's Landing in New Brunswick-that I was the participant in this unique occurrence. It was a hot, humid day, and as we stood in front of the 19th century ice-cream parlor (where they were serving ice cream!) We discovered that we were all sweaty, smelly, and very thirsty.

"Papa, can we have an ice-cream?" Begged my boys in stereo.

My wife wasn't so vocal about her begging, but when I looked over to see what she thought, I could read in her eyes that she wanted one too. To my surprise the prices were beyond reasonable. We all enjoyed double-scoops for a total price of 6.99$--and THIS was INSIDE of a tourist attraction! (Only in the Atlantic Provinces? Or am I wrong?)

My kids had discovered a dock behind the ice-cream parlor and were trying to motivate both of their parents to join them in eating their cones with their feet dangling over the riverbed. We might have opted for the regular picnic tables that had been made available to the customers, had it not been for a smoker who was liberally sharing his toxic fumes with the other ice-cream eaters. My wife and I looked at the smoker and then at each other. "We're coming!" We both said together.

We carefully descended the grassy incline without incident, but when I finally reached our destination, a new challenge awaited me: How to sit down on the edge of that dock with an ice cream cone in one hand and a camera in the other without losing one or both of the above mentioned items? I carefully began my attempt at this feat, but to my dismay, my ice-cream decided I was too slow! It slipped off the cone and tumbled to the pebbles at the base of the dock.

I didn't know what to do, and neither did my boys. My wife did, though, and while we all proceeded to stare at all of that delicious ice-cream melting on the pebbly riverbank, she handed her cone to one of the boys, grabbed my cone, and carefully scooped the lost ice-cream back into its rightful place. I now had my ice-cream where it belonged, but now with an unusual kind of sprinkles: tiny pebbles! I had the only "Hard Rock Ice-Cream Cone" known to mankind!

Instantly seeing the problem, my wife began brushing the pebbles off of the ice cream with her fingers. Her efforts, though not forceful, served to motivating those tiny rocks to take advantage of the laws of gravity, and they fell back to the river floor where they belonged.

"Here is your ice-cream," she said rather nonchalantly, handing me my cone.

As I took it, I couldn't help but wonder what good fortune had befallen me to have had this woman, my wife, turn a disaster into a unique tasting experience.

Yes, I still had two choices: Throw the whole thing away, or eat it. But throwing it out would have hindered me from enjoying a unique blessing. Accepting it gave me the opportunity to experience Peanut Butter Fudge Crunch (get it???) Parfait and communicated to my wife and my kids that they made a difference in my life.

Life greets us with many challenges. Too often I make the wrong choices and succeed in making myself, along with everyone around me, miserable. Trials will always be there, but our attitude in how we face them will determine if we will be a blessing or a curse to those around us. The only way to experience success is to let Jesus be our guide in all things.

"Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." (1 John 2:6 NIV)

"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." (1 Peter 2:21 NIV)

Would you like to have some "Hard-Rock Ice-Cream"? It's actually VERY good!

Rob Chaffart

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