Friday, September 10, 2010

On the way . . . detours and other important appointments

So today, much like the rest of my week, did not go according to plan.  With that in mind, today will not be a 'lectionary' blog, but instead some thoughts from my week.
I had a fairly long list of things to do and get accomplished today, much like the rest of my week, but more important things just kept popping up.
Today and all of this week, really, I have had the opportunity to help be a part of some genuinely good stuff and got the privilege of seeing God work in amazing ways through others.  And all of it has left more more than a little bit annoyed.  I mean seriously, I had plans for today.  I had a certain list of things I wanted to accomplish.  And lets be clear all of the things on my list this week - especially today - were good and important things: I was getting ready for our 'Rally Day' at church and lots of preparations and planning for the fall worship schedule.  You know good and important stuff that I think and really believe that God is calling me to do.
But then in the midst of my self-centeredness and frustration I had a God ordained moment of clarity.  While the things I had planned on where good and even focused on serving God, what God really wants from us is to go through life not with blinders on only focused on some far off goal or plan, or even mission or call.  Instead, I really believe that God wants us to go through life with our eyes wide open to the world around us.  Not worried about tomorrow (for each day has enough worries about tomorrow) or focused on what's next, but instead aware to the opportunities that God has placed in front of us us right now.
I don't know if I am even making any sense in this rambling post, but let me share with you a thought that crystallized this understanding for me.  So, here goes:
I think everyone would agree that the main point, goal or mission of Jesus Christ's coming to earth was the cross and the salvation that was won for us through his sacrifice on the cross.  But here is the thing, although it sounds almost blasphemous at first, what Jesus did at the cross wouldn't have meant what it did if it weren't for what Jesus did on the way to that cross.  Because Jesus wouldn't have been who he was/is (the living Son of God & the Word of God) if he was so focused on 'getting to the cross' that he passed up even one chance to extend God's grace, love and peace to someone in need.   Doing that, taking time to not just heal the woman who had been bleeding for 13 years but to also publicly restore her into community, that is the very essence of who Jesus is and what made it possible for his sacrifice on the cross to be salvific for all of us.  In order for his death on the cross to be the perfect sacrifice he had to live a life of perfect obedience to God - and that meant (and means) never passing up the chance to be a living witness to the grace, love and peace of God to the hurting and needy in our lives and in the world.
God spoke to me today through the happenstance of life and made it clear that we can't allow ourselves to get so focused on what's next or the goal or call - even if it is a good or Godly focus and call that we miss even one opportunity to share God's love, grace or mercy with someone.  An unplanned and inconvenient detour to extend help and love to someone in need is exactly what God wants from us and calls us to - even if it isn't part of the plan.

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