I arrived at the conference just in time for the host to begin the first session. Never one to worry about being on the first few rows, I was very content with the timing. As the host began, I settled in to my seat at the back, ready to escape if things weren’t worth my time.
The host gave the customary welcome to the attendees while promising a day that would never be forgotten. He then recited the agenda for the morning session including a quick view of the speakers and events of the morning.
As the host introduced the initial speaker of the morning, I began to mentally tune out thinking that the things going on in my life were most likely more important that the obligatory “first” speaker. There is a reason, after all, why this person was put first before everyone had arrived and most had fully awakened.
A brief glance toward the speaker as he approached the podium confirmed my priorities. There was really nothing in his demeanor spoke to me about a message that I needed to hear.
His very first words shook me from my lethargy. “Before I begin my topic for today I want to address a few specific people here”. No, it wasn’t these words, because I had heard in every other conference too many obligatory adulations for too many dignitaries. “I am not here to tell anyone what to believe” were his next words. These are the words that caught my attention. He continued, “for those of you who are Christian”. He now had my complete focus. “You claim that there is a real God”; yea, so far so good. “If there is a real God, what gives you the right to moan and complain about anything?”.
Slammed right between the eyes, I sat in my seat for the rest of the morning not hearing another word that was spoken by this or any other speaker. The truth of that question struck me to my core!
“For those of you who are Christian, you claim that there is a real God. If there is a real God, what give you the right to moan and complain about anything?”
These words rolled around and around in my mind the rest of that day and every day since.
The wisdom of Proverbs tells us that, The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9
As each day begins, each of us has a full day on our minds. Tasks to complete, meetings to attend, errands to run, people to contact. We run for before sun up to after sun down chasing down our plans. The mind of man plans his way.
What happens when the “unplanned” strike in an already busy day? The plans are made but they didn’t include the flat tire on the way to work. The plans are made but they didn’t include the sick child or spouse or co-worker or employee. The plans are made but they didn’t include the urgent message from an acquaintance, or a relative, or the school. The plans are made but they didn’t include the slippery roads and the clogged traffic. The plans are made but they didn’t include hitting every red light in town.
The plans are made but “the Lord directs his steps”. There simply are no coincidences within the kingdom of God.
Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, how can a man understand his way? Proverbs 20:24
We fail to understand our way because we view our lives through the lenses of logic and practicality. The kingdom of God moves on faith. There is a broad disconnect between the lenses that we use and those that perceive truth.
In Jesus all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete… Colossians 2:99&10
The sad thing is that we fail to realize what Jesus has done for us. We have been made complete. The difficulty is that we choose to live in the part of our lives that, like everyone else, is incomplete. The completeness within us includes that awareness of God at work around us and in us.
Is a flat tire, a sick person, an urgent message, the tough road or the string of red lights just irritations to confound your plans or are they opportunities to see, hear, know or respond to God? There is a “completeness” waiting for us. Will we respond or will we continue to fight against God’s directed steps”?
Grace an peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by and to His own glory and excellence.
2 Peter 1:2&3