By Margaret , CS Volunteer Coordinator
I love lists. I love making them, and I love checking things off as I accomplish them. Sometimes I even add things that I have already finished to a list just so I can put a check-mark beside them! Lists give a sense of order and accomplishment to my day, and I like that. They are becoming increasingly important as the years go by, because I find that unless I write something down, I am more than likely to forget it!
As much as I love lists, God has taught me something about them along the way. Despite my best-laid plans, I don’t always get to all the items on my list. It turns out that not all of the items on my list are as important to God as they are to me. Sometimes the most important part of my list is the space between the items, otherwise known as the “interruptions” or “inconveniences” of life. Often these spaces are where God works the best. Sometimes the interruptions are really God’s intended purpose and plan for the day.
I recently experienced such an “interruption” in the midst of coordinating a women’s Christmas dinner at my church. We had booked our usual caterer and a dynamic speaker, made lots of lists and lots of plans. The day of the event, we had an unexpected snowstorm, which caused poor driving conditions in the city. We continued with our preparations and as the time approached for the event to begin, everyone began to arrive. Everyone, that is, except the caterer. She was stuck in traffic on the expressway. What would we do with 200 women who were expecting a Christmas dinner? Quickly we decided to change the order of the agenda for the evening and when the caterer finally arrived, she composed herself, pulled her team together, and served a wonderful meal just a little later than we had planned.
After the event was finished, I went into the kitchen to thank the caterer. She had heard part of the speaker’s message and she had a few questions for me. Apparently, this was the first time she and her team were able to hear a message at one of our evenings and I believe it had to do with the change in timing of our meal. They were picking up plates from tables while the speaker was talking, whereas normally they would have been in the kitchen at that point, running the dishwasher and not hearing anything.
I had the opportunity to talk about Jesus with her, and to tell her that the joy and contentment the speaker found in Him is also available for her. That evening, God helped us to show His love and grace to our caterer and her team during a stressful situation, and a seed was planted in the midst of an interruption in our agenda. I’m quite sure it was His plan all along!
I still make lists every day and I still love checking off the things I have done. But I also watch for the spaces, the interruptions, or the “inconveniences” that the Lord will bring my way, because those may be the most important moments of my day. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8,9