Yesterday was my wife’s birthday, so I was a busy man yesterday spoiling her by grabbing meals for her and grabbing a last minute present. On one of my stops yesterday, a man stops and begins to talk to me. He asks me what I do and so after finding out I was a youth pastor he had a slew of other questions to ask about my faith and the church in general. I began to see that this 5 minute in-and-out errand was turning into a 20 minute stop. As much as I wanted to cut the guy short and move on with my day, I continued to talk with the man. At the end of the conversation, he thanked me for being the first person in a while to simply take time to talk with him.
His last words haunted me in a way. That 25 minute conversation in the middle of a store was one of the only times in that man’s recent memory that he felt like someone took time out of their day to just stop and care. The sad part is that I probably walk by scores of people everyday that are in the same state of life. They feel lost in the sea of people. Abandoned. Unloved.
Regularly I ask God to give me more opportunities to share my faith or to be able to share the love of Christ with more people. Yet, am I really ready for the opportunities that God gives me in the midst of a busy day? Usually the answer is no. I’ve got a meeting to be at. A lunch date to make. Another event reminder beeping at me from my phone. I missing these God-orchestrated moments to share the love of Christ because I am too busy.
I need to realize that these moments when I can show the love of Christ come in moments that I do not expect and in times that do not suit me the best. It is in these moments that people can truly see the love of God in a real way. As Scripture says:
Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.
~ Hebrews 13:1-2
Hospitality comes from giving of myself. It comes from giving of my food, my time, my resources, my schedule. Being hospitable and loving is uncomfortable because that means I have to make another person’s needs and desires more important than my own. Sometimes submitting to God’s will means submitting to His timing for our lives. As John Piper says:
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.
That means being satisfied in His schedule for our lives and not how we may have planned out our day. May we be more willing to stop and listen, love and share Christ. May we be willing to take those divine appointments when they pop up.