I’ve spent the past few days more in line with my plans than in line with God’s. For the record, that’s not the best way to do things.
I wanted to go to church this morning, don’t get me wrong. Mainly because I wanted to do some pest control on the house that required us to leave for a few hours. Instead, I stayed home. My wife has been sick the past few days and was in no shape to go anywhere this morning. Once she’d assured me of that, I went back to sleep.
When I got up I realized that today was the day my small group started back up. I’ve got part of a project due tonight, a couple of quizzes to take online tomorrow that I need to study for. Did I really want to go sit with guys I share everything with and let them in on how I’m not a perfect person? No. Who does?
So I made up my mind that since the kids would be at youth group, Carolyn would need someone at home with her. Then I went to the gym with her son to put in an hour on the elliptical machine while he worked out.
At some point it dawned on me that one of the guys from my group works out during the afternoon on Sundays and the longer we were there, the greater the chance that I’d see him and have to speak to him.
About 10 minutes before I was done I looked over and, sure enough, he was stretching out by the stair climbers. He looked up, saw me, smiled and waved. I worked up a grin and waved back.
I finished up, asked Robert how much longer he planned on being and found out he had about 6 more minutes of running to do, then I wondered toward the front of the building and right past my friend.
He stopped, got off the machine and shook my hand.
“You’re coming tonight, right?”
What do you say? This isn’t a person in my life I’m accustomed to lying to. Heck, I don’t like lying, but is finding an excuse not to do something a lie? That’s something for another time.
I wasn’t happy with myself, but out it came, “Yes. Sure will.”
In that moment I felt a thousand times better. I know these guys aren’t perfect. They know I’m not perfect. None of us expects perfection from the other. We expect love and support from each other, nothing more and nothing less. We’re all sinners, imperfect, and unworthy of much of anything from our fellow man, let alone a holy God.
Yet, 7 We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice.8 But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
9 Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. (Romans 5:7-9, The Message)
Well, if our sin hurts God and he still loves us, but my sin didn’t do anything to my friends, why shouldn’t they love me? They understand all this, maybe even better than I do. So, yeah, I’ll be going tonight. It’s about 80 minutes away as I type this.
Have you ever had a random meeting with someone that changed your day, your week or even, maybe, your life?