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

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