Life Interrupted

I love it when a plan comes together!  You know the feeling.  When you pour your time, energy, resources, heart and soul into something hoping it all comes together. And when it finally does it is such a good feeling.  You had a hunch at the beginning of it all but when the end comes you realize it was all worth it.

Then, there is the other feeling.  When someone or something interrupts your plans.  A circumstance out of your control, something you didn’t plan for or, even worse is when someone deliberately messes with your idea of how things should be.  Sometimes they can be big plans sometime they can be small.  Either way it can be extremely frustrating.  Why?  Why do we get so bothered by life.

I had just sat down in the plane.  I was heading to Texas to speak at a training for young missionaries.  Our church was going through the Community Bible Experience.  It was really cool, but I was behind.  As one of the pastors at the church, I was feeling pretty guilty for being behind.  This was my opportunity to catch up.  A two-hour plane flight down, and some free time while I was down there.  This was going to be a perfect time for me to get caught up and relieve myself of my guilt.

Then it happened.  A young man sat down next to me.  He was a bit of a talker.  I had just gotten the Community Bible Experience Bible out and was just about to put my headphones in.  He was really excited but he had just had one of the best skiing times in his life.  I didn’t want to be rude and listened to him and shared with him in his joy.  I even shared my own times of riding a snowboard in fresh deep powder to show I really knew where he was coming from.  Then the question came.  “So, What do you do?”

“I’m a youth pastor,” I said.

“Wow, didn’t see that coming,” he said.

I actually chuckled and asked,  “Well, what do you think I would do?”  I was interested to find out his response.

“I don’t know he said, but I didn’t see that coming,” he said.  “That’s cool though.”

I wasn’t sure if I was glad I didn’t fit the mold of a pastor or if I should’ve been bothered.  Anyway, our conversation took a bit of a turn over the next two hour flight, as he talked about who he used to go to church and how his mom and him had talked about going back.  He also shared how he had read parts of the Bible before but found it confusing.  He had a desire to start again but didn’t know where to start.

Then that nudge came.  That quiet little voice inside my head.  The one that I know I wouldn’t think this up myself.  “Give him the Bible.”  Ohhhhh, you have got to be kidding me!  I am behind!  I am one of the pastors!  I need to catch up!  How am I supposed to be a good leader if I am behind!

As those thoughts quickly raced through my head I realized there was no point in fight that battle.  I would eventually loose as I always do.

So, I told this young man, “Look I have this Bible that is really cool.  They organized the entire new testament in chronological order so it reads more like a story.  It would be a really great place to start. and you can understand more easily the story that God has written.”

“Wow, that is pretty cool!” he said.

“So here is the deal,” I said, “I’m going to give you my copy, but you need to promise me you read it.”

“Deal!” he said, “I will read it.”

I love it when HIS plan comes together.  I’ve realized I don’t mind so much when my life gets interrupted.  God has a way of making it a whole lot more interesting than I would have ever planned. Yes, sometimes things get really hard and I don’t like it initially.  But, I need to ask myself, “Do I trust in HIS sovereignty or do I trust in my self?”

After all, “ In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)