Excuse me please...
I was still asleep when the phone rang. My husband hastened to answer it. It was my friend Janet calling. Her news wasn’t good. Janet’s knee was very sore and she was unable to get to CareLink. I felt much for her. I was also perplexed as to what I should do. Janet is our faithful CareLink volunteer on Fridays. Florrie, the other faithful Friday volunteer, depends on Janet for a ride.
The past week had been an extremely busy one. I’d been out every day and had spent a good portion of it at CareLink. I’d reserved Friday for a special task. That of refining my talk due at a women’s meeting in a fortnight. I was determined to stay in all day and give it my undivided attention. In fact, I felt rather possessive of my Friday plans. I thought I had earned it.
Yawning, still half asleep, I asked God to lead me. First area of difficulty – getting Florrie, to church. Should I give her a ride? Or was it simpler for me to ‘man’ the office at CareLink? My driving skills are not the best. I still tremble inwardly when driving to somewhere new. I hurriedly checked Google map’s directions and was ready to do the needful.
But – I had a glad reprieve. David – another hardworking church member said he’d pick Florrie up. Hurray! Problem solved. I now had the gift of a few hours to myself. I did my morning chores. Next was my favourite time of the day - my Quiet Time. Ah! How good it was to pore over scripture and to hear from the Lord. After some thought, I decided I needed to go to CareLink. Fridays have been extra busy at CareLink and perhaps Florrie needed help?
I needn’t have worried. Yes, it was another ultra busy Friday. But 85 year old Florrie had it all in hand. I was very impressed as to how efficient she was, managing many clients. David gave her a ride home at 12, so I waited on in the CareLink Office till we closed at 1 p.m. I thought I could do some planning for CareLink. I was wrong.
Instead, I had the joy of spending time with three clients as they walked in for help. The first to arrive was a couple– refugees from the East of Sri Lanka. Yes, from Sri Lanka. The country of my birth! Fancy that! Perhaps I was meant to be there to greet them? I chatted to them and gave them what help I could.
After they left, I was filling in the paperwork when the door opened and another lady walked in. As I listened to her, she shared freely about the tough circumstances of her life. My heart went out to her. I was amazed to find that although she had no formal instruction about God – God was very real to her. She told me she chatted to him all the time. I soon felt led to share the gospel and to pray with her. She gladly took not just one but two copies of the New Testament – one for her daughter as well. I gave her a copy of my book and she was delighted. She said she’d come to church on Sunday.
By the time I returned home that afternoon, I was filled. Sharing God’s love with a stranger (or a friend for that matter) always does that to me. Refreshes me. Energises me. Restores me. Like the brown patch in my yard turned into lush lemon green when the winter rains arrive. I didn’t have the Friday I’d planned. But oh! It was a great Friday. I was renewed from the inside out.
I have to admit shamefacedly that I am often guilty of wanting things to occur exactly the way I plan them. I don’t like having unexpected intrusions to my day. I’m sure God must often smile – as He sends something unplanned in my direction. “Let’s teach Anusha what’s important” He may say as he drops a surprise or two into my day.
Do you like being interrupted? Do you like having your plans changed? I don’t. And that’s why I need to learn. Jesus’ days were filled with interruptions. A centurion asking for his daughter to be healed. A blind man crying out for sight. A deaf man wanting to hear. A lame man being brought by friends for healing. A rich young ruler asking how he could find eternal life.
What did Jesus do? Did He tell them He was too busy for them? Of course not. He listened. He could have said ‘I am God, you know. I don’t have time for you. I am busy running the world’. Instead He responded at once with compassion and with love.
I wonder if you are like me? With a long 'To do' list each day. Absorbed in all I have to accomplish. But then….what if each interruption is meant to be part of my day. What if it is exactly what God planned for me? What then?
Life is busy - too busy. I hear a knock on my door. The phone rings. ‘Excuse me please. Can you help me?”
What would Jesus do?