I think it is really interesting how God works. So much of the time when I am crafting a sermon, I am asking God to speak through me, so it’s just not my words, but His truth. I fully admit, these words that are written are not just a lesson to the congregation, they are words that I am telling myself, in hopes that God will continue to shape me.
For the last couple of weeks, we have been talking about how God sometimes will disrupt our normal routines and activities to get our attention and focus on what matters most, Him. One week ago today, I learned one of my childhood friends had passed away. It seems as though God disrupted my week. All of my thoughts were consumed with the loss of my friend. What would his wife and two young children do now? How do you support a grieving wife, parents, and brother?
On Friday, I made the journey back to my hometown to go to the memorial service of my dear friend. When I got to the church, the parking lot was overflowing. I was deeply touched to see how many people had come to celebrate the life of this wonderful man. It truly was a testimony to all the lives he had touched. Many of our classmates were there. All of our lives had been disrupted, but somehow nothing else seemed more important than being there at that moment. During his final hours, he left these parting words: “Don’t let a day slip by where you don’t tell your family and friends that you love them and how much they mean to you.”
Dr. Aaron Perry in his devotional Good News of Life: 40 Days in the Gospel of John, Day 8, lamented on this question, “How will we react when Jesus turns over the structure and rhythm of our lives?” Notice that he said, “when” not “if” Jesus will turn over our structure and rhythms of our lives. So, I echo the words of Dr. Perry, how will you react when Jesus disrupts your normal structure and rhythms? How you answer this question is a direct result of your faith.
We really have two choices. First, we can ignore the disruption and carry on a business as usual. Or second, we can allow the disruption to lead us to a teachable moment. I could have very easily used a whole host of excuses why I couldn’t make it to my friend’s memorial. The drive was 7 hours. The weather was supposed to get bad. I had to preach the next day. However, I knew there was something more to this disruption. Perry concluded that the reason why Jesus sometimes turns over our lives, is because he has a better plan. This is where I found myself this weekend, allowing Jesus to disrupt my rhythms by celebrating the life of a childhood friend. And what I witnessed through this difficult circumstance was people coming together, loving one another, and praying together. Jesus didn’t merely flip my life upside down, he turned it right side back up. He put things in perspective. He gave us all a glimpse of heavenly places. He showed us what his bride should look like and that all happened because of a willingness to be disrupted.
I encourage you to allow the structures and rhythms of your lives to be disrupted. Look for these moments for Jesus to show you something. Pay attention. Be alert. Remain teachable.
Be Bold and Courageous,
Tuesday Morning on the Run
Inspirational thoughts from Pastor Barry Lawson