Divine Appointments, Part 1

Have you ever had a life-changing divine appointment?  Well, I’ve had a number of them, at least three of which have occurred in Chick-Fil-A restaurants — a surprisingly common denominator in my life.  Just today I coordinated a post-meet lunch for our swim team catered by guess who?  But the first of my Chick-Fil-A divine appointments (at least the first that I currently recall) happened about seven years ago in Reston, Virginia.

We had finished eating and I was letting Will, my two-year-old son, play, and holding my infant son, Nate.  There was another woman there with her children and I knew I knew her from somewhere, but couldn’t think of where.  Finally, I just said, “You know, you look so familiar but I cannot think of where I may have met you.”

It took only a few seconds of conversation to discover that I had met Shannon at Community Bible Study nearly two years earlier.  It had not been the best experience for me because I was quite the neurotic new mother, distracted and horrified by babies near mine with runny noses or heaven forbid, a cough.  Seriously, I had trouble concentrating on the lesson and as a new mom it felt like a lot of work to get there every week.  How that’s possible I do not know.  I just know that’s how I felt.

So Shannon asked, “What are you doing now?  Are you involved in a different Bible study?”

“No,” I confessed.  “I know I should be.  I tried Bible Study Fellowship before Nate was born, but I ended up getting called out of class every week since Will has separation anxiety.”

“Well, the CBS children’s program is fabulous!  Plus, it’s moved closer to your house.  You should come back, ” Shannon decided.  “Let me get your number and I’ll find out if there’s room for your son.”

A week later I had a message on my machine from Shannon.  She was overjoyed to report that there was room for little Will.  I decided, somewhat reluctantly, to give it a chance.  Not only did Will happily separate for the first time ever, but I met most of my closest friends there.  All three of my boys have adored the children’s program, and without meeting friends through CBS and more divine appointments, I wouldn’t have known about the C.S. Lewis Institute.  I would not have known about the beloved school where I send my boys.  And I would not have had the opportunity to teach in the CBS children’s program for three years.  Could a ten -minute Chick-Fil-A conversation have a greater impact on one’s life?

But how often do we miss such opportunities?  What if I wouldn’t have spoken to Shannon?  What if she wouldn’t have invited me to come back to CBS?  Well, that would’ve changed the course of my life, but we definitely wouldn’t call it sin would we?

But the Bible says it is sin when we fail to do the good that we know we ought.  (James 4:17).  So if we fail to act on those divine appointments, those nudges that we know are from the Lord, then we are not only missing out on the privilege and blessing of seeing God at work, we are sinning.

I’d love to hear about some of your divine appointments.  And next time I’ll tell you about how I recently missed one, and how very sorry I am about it.

The Positive Side of Being Possessive

Although Sammy is now four years old, he continues to use the possessive “my” in a toddler-like way.  The other day when I was leaving to grab the big boys from school Sammy announced, “Daddy, my mommy is going to go get my brothers.”  And he often asks when I pick him up from school, “Is my daddy going to be at my house?”  There’s something very endearing in this overuse of “my mommy,” “my daddy,”  and “my brothers.”  It communicates that we are special to Sam, that we belong to him, yet not at the exclusion of others, because after all,  I am not only his mommy.  Yet for Sam this pronouncement of “My mommy” seems important, as if he is clarifying and affirming our relationship.

As I reflected on this, it made me think that maybe I underuse “my,” especially with regard to Jesus.  Maybe I should be affirming and clarifying my relationship to Jesus more often.  Maybe I should be thinking more about how He is mine, not at the exclusion of others, but just for the sake of recognizing that the relationship is indeed true.  He is my Jesus.  He is my Savior.  He is my Lord, my Redeemer, my Refuge, my Sanctifier, my Comforter, my Counselor, my Deliverer, my Rock, my Sacrificial Lamb, my Shepherd, my Judge, my Prince of Peace, my Lord of Lords, my King of Kings, my Life-Giver and Life-Sustainer, my Strong Tower, my Healer, my Priest, my Light, and my Joy.

My prayer today is that He is all of these things for you as well, because my Jesus, my Savior, my Lord, wants to be your Jesus, your Savior and your Lord.  May you know that He loves you, just as you are, today and everyday whether you acknowledge Him or not.