There was a time not so very long ago when I thought of life as one big chess game. In my mind's eye I'd plot out strategic moves, then make counter strikes for the desired outcome. I always felt that if I weren't careful or mindful enough, I was in danger of being checked at any given time.
What an exhausting mindset! If Dr. Phil had been in my head, he would have asked his infamous, "so how's that been working for ya?" question. Not having Dr. Phil to nudge me, my learning curve proved a bit long and steep.
However, I did eventually learn to live differently and I now know better. My heart now accepts and understands that despite what we may think, we are usually right where we're supposed to be. I say "usually" because many times even seasoned believers get impatient. Even though we know we are not in control of things, our wants and desires urge us to go for it anyway because in that flashpoint moment, we think we know what's best. We say to God, "I'll take it from here" with the hope that he not only understands but agrees with us too! Are we delusional?
Yes, I know waiting and staying in a holding pattern can be tough. Been there; done that, designed the tshirt. It's alot like sitting in a plane waiting on the runway for takeoff clearance --or even worse, circling high in the sky above your destination point when you are anxious to land and get to where you are supposed to be.
Can you imagine how much easier it would be for you if you took control over the cockpit? Things would then happen according to your needs, wants and timeline. Sounds good, right? Wrong! When you take control you are essentially taking control over God's cockpit and flight plan. But wait, what if you were being delayed for a reason? What if God wanted you right where you were at that very moment? Maybe it was for your safety, maybe you were supposed to talk to someone or maybe he was moving things on the other end for your benefit. This is a time for trusting in faith, not cursing your misfortune or inconvenience. When delays or detours happen and you don't underestand why, pray on it.
"...he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:6
Or, maybe God is setting something up and positioning people and events like a heavenly chess game-- not for you but for someone else. Maybe, you are someone else's divine appointment. You never know what God has planned but make no mistake, there is a purpose and nothing is random.
Not too long ago a single mom somewhere in Tennessee stood by her car off a busy hightway in the pouring rain looking at a flat tire with a sinking heart. With little money and no one to call, she didn't know what else to do but pray. She asked the Lord to help her out because she was alone and scared. On the other side of the highway, a man from out of state was driving on his way to a job assignment. He normally wouldn't have been traveling on that road at that time but had decided to get to his hotel earlier in order to be rested for the next day. He looked over to the other side of the highway in time to see the woman standing by the side of the road. Something about her looked familiar to him so he made the first u-turn to get to her side of the road. And indeed, they knew one another! He recognized her as a waitress from the restaurant he frequented when working at the out of state assignment. He wasn't supposed to have been on that road at that time yet God had put him there in answer to her prayer. God put him there so she wouldn't be in danger from strangers.*
Some may think this was simply a case of good luck or merely coincidence. Those of us with faith see it as divine intervention. So, the next time you want to take matters into your own hands, wait. Wonderful things may come your way, things you never imagined nor dreamed of. Or it just may be as simple as an answer to a prayer for help to change a flat tire. Whatever God's reason, let him be at the steering wheel and be patient. It's not your trip, it's his.
"Wait for the Lord," Psalm 37:34
*true story told to me recently by one of the people involved in that incident