Friday, February 26, 2016
Planes, trains and lemonade
It was not the week I had expected. There are always incidents and people and turns in the road that I cannot foresee. There are things I cannot possibly know. There are even things for which I don't even know how to pray. But I can trust God even in what appears to be an unfolding mystery.
My trip this week was scheduled for one night away, a business meeting in the evening and a quick flight home the next day. That was my plan. But God appeared to have something different in mind. I flew to Chicago. I attended my meeting. The next morning, I jumped on an early train to the airport when I received a phone call that my flight was cancelled. Actually, all flights had been cancelled due to impending weather. And it hadn't even started snowing yet.
Change of plans. I chuckled. I thought of my mom and her proverbial, "If you have a lemon, make a lemonade." Throughout her life, she showed me how to turn on a dime. Just do something different with it. God is faithful. Even in this. And as I rescheduled my flight and got off one train and back on another, I realized that it was the anniversary of her passing away.
I had no idea how God was leading me in this situation. But that is usually how God leads, not a weird event or a random detail, not even an odd piece of the puzzle that does not seem to fit, but a strategic positioning and purpose. It is not for me to dictate. I have only to trust God and follow Him into it.
I am often reminded of the character Jayber Crow in Wendell Berry's classic novel, who says: "I am an ignorant pilgrim, crossing a dark valley. And yet for a long time, looking back, I have been unable to shake off the feeling that I have been led..."
This disruption in my schedule was not a change of plans to God, not a cancellation, not a delay, but just redirecting my heart to something else. May God fulfill His purposes in it. May I be sensitive to His leading. And may I realize that it might not be about me at all, His mighty designs unfolding, even in what I may never know. God's purposes are so much deeper than the response "there's a reason for it."
God is not bringing it. He already has it firmly in place.
It is not a matter of "roll with it,"
but run with Him.
...and let us run with perseverance
the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus...
Hebrews 12. 1-2