I Missed the Train, But Made it to the Divine Appointment

I have learned that when I pray to make it to a train, plane, or bus on time, but miss it anyway, it is because God has some higher reason.  And yesterday was no exception.  When my train arrived from Pescara, I had to go back to my apartment to pick up copies of my new book, “Laughing in My Dreams,” to take to friends who pray for me in Biella.  I give my books to people on my prayer team because it is their prayers that help me along in my ministry travels.

Of course, I did my best to make it to the train.  I had calculated that although the time would be tight, I should be able to make it.  However, I got to the train station just as the train was departing.  I said, “Thank You, Lord, for whatever reason I missed the train.  Your plans are always better than mine.”

There was another train an hour later.  Since I had waited at the train station for an hour, I was one of the first ones on the train.  All the seats filled up very quickly, and I wondered if one the people near me might be a divine appointment, but two of the people talked the whole time about people they know, and the young man who took the fourth seat immediately opened his computer and started working.  It was the same on the connecting train.  Pastor Fabio was going to pick me up at the station on the original train, but he had a Bible study to lead.  Instead, he sent Gabriel to pick me up at the train station.

I didn’t know Gabriel or Mary very well, just brief encounters over lunch months ago.  Gabriel started telling me about their ministry.  They are starting a shelter/soup kitchen for the street people of Biella.  Immediately I understood that this was my divine appointment for the day: Gabriel was feeling the weight of his ministry, but was discouraged because things didn’t seem to be moving along like he had hoped.  I felt the Holy Spirit rising up in me to encourage him that this is important work.  Honestly, I don’t remember exactly what I said.  That’s the way it usually is when the Holy Spirit speaks through me.  The words don’t go through my human brain, so as I speak, I’m hearing the words for the first time, and often I don’t remember afterwards what it was that I said.

And that’s the way it was yesterday.  I missed the train, but made it to my divine appointment right on time.  Every day is a new adventure if you don’t let the little things like a missed train get you down.

P.S.  After posting this last night, look what was in my inbox this morning: http://www.guideposts.org/faith/bible-resources/turn-disappointment-to-god-appointment?utm_source=Bible-Alive&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2013-2-11_nl_turn-disappointment-to-god-appointment.  God is good!

Happy Science Fiction Day!

Actually, I didn’t know that there even was a Science Fiction Day, but I just saw a notice in the elevator here at Mom’s retirement apartments wishing everyone a happy Science Fiction Day.  I wouldn’t call myself a big fan of Science Fiction.  I don’t go in for robots or ray guns or alien stuff, but I love time travel stories.  I can sit through even the worst-written, badly-acted movie if time travel is used as a plot device.  Almost any story can be told using Science Fiction.  The first Terminator movie is a love story.  In fact, if you leave out the terminator robot and time travel, Terminator would have been dismissed as a “chick flick” far more romantic than anything Nora Ephron ever wrote.  The protagonist is female, the man falls in love from a picture of her and comes to rescue her.

Back in the mid-90’s I read Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time.”  I was thrilled to see that Hawking wrote in the introduction that he was writing the book because he wanted to know if there was a God.  And everything I read in the book, especially the Big Bang and about multiple dimensions (beyond our 3 plus time), pointed very clearly to a Creator that could only be God.  And then I was disappointed when I got to the end of the book, and Hawking not only failed to recognize God, he didn’t even mention the quest for God that had started the book.

When you think of human history from both a scientific and Christian point of view, the story of the Universe is a lot like the Terminator.  The protagonist is us and our Creator is so in love with us that He came to rescue us.  And instead of a Terminator robot, the enemy is a fallen angel and his evil army that live in the invisible Nomansland of the spirit world that exists all around us.  Before it was the title for a movie, the Passion of Christ was the motivation for coming to be one of us: His white-hot passionate love for you and me.  It’s the supernatural science non-fiction story to beat all stories, with something in it for everyone—action, danger, romance, suspense, mystery, and adventure.  It is not only the greatest story ever told, it’s also the greatest story ever lived.