There was a time when I thought of life like one big chess game. In my mind's eye we'd plot our strategies, and execute our moves and countermoves. If we weren't careful and aware, we could be checked at any given moment.
What an exhausting mindset!
Now, I live differently. I know better. My heart accepts and understands that we are usually right where we are supposed to be. I say "usually" because many times even the most seasoned believers get impatient with the Lord's timeline and go after what they want because they think they know better. Waiting and staying in faith during a holding pattern can certainly test the best of us.
Have you ever been in a plane waiting and waiting to get clearance to take off --or even worse, circling high in the sky above your destination point, anxious to land and get where you're supposed to be? Can you imagine if you took matters into your own hands and took over the cockpit controls because you wanted--no, needed to land or take off now?
Well, in a way, that's exactly what you're doing when you decide you know best and take the reigns! There will be times, perhaps many times, when where we are isn't random or without purpose. In other words, we possibly could be precisely where we're supposed to be because God is setting up a divine appointment.
When I first learned about divine appointments (or DA's), I automatically associated them with incredible "can you believe it" tales. A part of me was wow'd by the stories and intense declarations of the blessings people had experienced....but I have to admit there was a small, secretive part of me that was...um, envious. I mean, I kept hearing stories left and right from fellow Christians about all these death-defying interventions, last minute saves from financial ruin or miraculous healings and I had nothing to share; nothing, nada, zip! My DA cupboards were bare.
How could this be, I wondered? Wasn't I worthy of a DA moment myself? Yesssss, I know we aren't supposed to expect them or heaven forbid, demand that God wave his magic wand and conjure one up for our benefit so I could have my own DA story but still....how come I didn't get one?
I pondered what I perceived as the Lord's oversight when gradually the mental fog lifted. Well, shifted is a more accurate description. Wait...hmmm...maybe I hadn't been deprived after all!
Maybe I had overlooked subtle, arranged situations. Shifting my perspective suddenly revealed a world full of DA's once I turned down expectations from visions of floodlights and angelic choirs. The DA's had been there all along but I had needed to quiet my soul in order to "open the eyes of my heart."
I tried that approach. I wasn't good at it at first. Ok, I'm still not that good at it. I still tend to fill my head and heart with "noise." Yet, it's exactly this mental busyness that filters out the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit.
So, once I stripped away my expectations of dazzle and bling and shock and awe, what happened?
Well, to be honest, nothing much at first. I think the eyes of my heart needed some time to adjust to the light once I took off the rose colored glasses. But, soon I started to notice little things, like maybe feeling a certain way and then hearing just the right words I needed to hear from a song on the radio. Or, struggling with a faith issue and then having someone pop up out of the blue with an email discussing the very same struggle and offering insight without even knowing my own private issues. Or, hearing a right-on sermon the very day and hour my heart was heavy and full of doubts.
These, I've learned, are my divine appointments. They aren't as grandiose as other peoples' maybe but I'll take them just the same. They were designed especially for me by my Lord and Savior and since I am his creation, I know he knows how best to not only reach me---but to teach me as well.