Is Now a Good Time?

My oldest son is applying for his first job. As he filled in the applications, he peppered me with questions. “What hours should I say I’m available? I don’t want to work on Sundays because of church, but I also don’t want to work on Fridays so I don’t miss out on all the fun you guys have on Dad’s day off. I have swim team practice every night so I can’t work nights.”

I chuckled as I wondered aloud, “When can you work?”

The next day as I was checking out at the grocery store, an elderly woman approached me. I thought about making a run for it, but we had already made eye contact. “No, Lord, please not now. I’m in a hurry.” She needed some help reading the fine print on a product she wanted to buy. We then discussed the merits of buying and consuming that product.

A couple of days later, pilates class ended. I was headed out the door, mentally preparing for the next item on my to-do list. The instructor made a distressing comment about her spouse. I felt the Lord nudging me to offer words of comfort, to listen as she shared her life with me. I had been praying that God would open a door for us to have a friendship, but now? “Lord, remember, I already had other plans for today. Maybe after the next class?”

I find myself dictating to God when I would like to serve Him. I’ll pencil You in from 7-8 p.m. on Wednesdays and 5-6:30 p.m on Thursdays, plus Sundays, of course. Do we allow God to interrupt our plans for spontaneous ministry opportunities?

“Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” Colossians 4:5-6 (NLT)

Unfortunately, this verse doesn’t say anything about making the most of convenient opportunities or having the right response for certain people. God didn’t call us to a life of convenience. He plucked us out of our own destruction, creating us anew with a fresh hope and purpose. We are called to share that hope of the gospel with others. Their very lives are depending on it, depending on us.

I choose today to respond wisely when God wrecks my plans. On my application to serve God, I will check the “flexible” box. My time is His to direct. In light of what’s at stake, the time is worth it.

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