Why not both?
Within the last week my wife and I have both had odd, seemingly chance encounters with strangers (or virtual strangers). Neither was convenient. They were both a little uncomfortable. I would have rather not had to engage the person I ended up engaging. She’s a far better person than I, so I won’t speak for her!
As we debriefed our respective situations, we acknowledged the inconvenience, but we were also able to reflect on the opportunity to “love our neighbors.” We love loving our neighbors when it’s convenient and when we like them. When it’s more challenging, we look for other Bible verses. As we reflected, we were able to recognize these encounters not as inconveniences (though they were inconvenient), but divine appointments.
I don’t know what, if anything, will come of these “appointments.” That’s God’s decision. It may be that friendships develop that end up pointing all of us to Jesus. It could be that we never see these folks again. Who knows? That’s God’s decision. But I have a decision in this. Am I willing to engage life’s inconvenient moments, trusting that God may have a divine appointment for me in this.
On our end, it’s not always easy to tell the difference. In fact, we can rarely be sure. Since this is the case, it’s always important to fight that battle against our flesh and trust the Holy Spirit to direct us and use us to bless those people who cross our paths. For us it was strangers needing something. For others it may be changing another diaper or helping that person at work who you really don’t much care for. The opportunities are legion.
Unfortunately, we live in a busy world. I wish I could say I always handle these “appointments” well. Too often I treat them like they feel – inconveniences. (I think the only reason I’m writing about it is because I actually did the right thing this time!) But my eyes are opening. I’m praying they stay open.
Inconveniences are always emerging all around us. My prayer is that I’ll seize them as “divine appointments.” I’m praying that each of us will!
- We’ll be doing baby dedications on Mother’s Day this year – May 10. So if you want to dedicate your child (which is really a dedication of yourself as a parent to raise the child in the Lord), let me know!