What are your plans for today? You might have a major presentation lined up for work. You might have a big date tonight. You might just be planning to sit on the couch and catch up on the pile of DVDs sitting by your television.
Whatever your plan for today, odds are that it won’t go off without a hitch. Something unexpected will interrupt your plans.
Maybe it will be a huge, life-altering event. Maybe it will just be a flat tire on your way to work. Whatever the interruption is, you have a choice in how you let the distractions of the day affect you.
There are two ways to respond when a plan goes off course. You can let the interruption fluster and frustrate you. Or you can embrace the interruption as divine intervention. Earlier this week, as I sat down to write this article, I received a phone call from a close friend. He wanted to talk to me about some recent personal struggles.
At first I was annoyed. I was running out of time to write the very article that you’re reading. This call was not part of my plan.
I began to wonder, as I often do when my schedule gets corrupted, why God always seems to mess with my plans.
Even when I’m doing work for God (like writing an article for the newspaper), he always seems to let phone calls and other distractions interrupt what I have planned. Why?
The answer? Because he’s giving me the one thing I always ask for.
My most common prayer is for God to reveal his plans to me – for God to “show me the way” and “just give me a sign” as to how I should spend my time. Maybe when my plans get interrupted, God is doing just that – giving me a sign.
With the touch of a button or swipe of a finger, a phone call can be easily ignored. With one press of the gas pedal we can brush off those needing help on the side of the street. All because these phone calls and these strangers are not part of our plan.
We say we have something more important to do and somewhere more important to be, as if God’s work can be done only our own terms. But these interruptions are just the things God wants us to be distracted with.
Too often we ask God to reveal his plan and get annoyed when he answers. We get perturbed because we don’t get the answer we expected.
We shouldn’t be so surprised when we ask God to show us his plan and we get a response. Does Jesus not tell us that, much more than a loving parent, God will give to his children what they ask of him?
My friend and I had a long and productive phone call that night. God used that conversation to help my friend through a rough patch and to help me realize that the work of a believer cannot always be easily planned out.
Begin to recognize the interruptions in your daily routine as divine doing. Our plans are meant to be broken. Be careful when you ask God to show you his plans. He might give you exactly what you wanted.
ALEX DORIOT IS THE DIRECTOR OF STUDENT MINISTRIES AT THE HILL BAPTIST CHURCH IN AUGUSTA.