It was early this year that Noah and I challenged each other to run the Bristol Half and Half. He had rocked his first season of Cross Country the previous autumn, and I thought he might need a goal to keep him motivated and fit in the off-season. We made ourselves a training plan of three runs each week, including increasingly long runs on Saturdays.
On April 8, he flew through the course, finishing with a time of 1:56:40. He ran his first half marathon, at ten years old, in less than two hours! We cheered, hydrated him, fed him carbohydrates, and were absolutely thrilled with what he had accomplished.
Then we decided to wander around Bristol for a while, have our picture made on one of the state line plates on State Street, have lunch at Cootie Brown’s. You know, do the touristy things. We enjoyed the beautiful day. We enjoyed the city. We had no idea there was more to Bristol than the Raceway.
And as we wandered, high on caffeine from the Blackbird Bakery, a few words slipped out of Karoline’s mouth:
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we were appointed here someday?”
Someday. The operative word there was, “someday”.
Nineteen days later, as I was rushing to gather swim suits and towels and get out the door in time to pick up Sarah and Rebekah from school to shuttle them to swim practice, I answered a phone call from my Superintendent. She knew it was late in the process, and that we hadn’t requested a move this year, but she had an opening come up and the very first person who came to mind for this particular church was me.
I was trying to help Noah stay in shape.
We were just enjoying the day.
It was an offhand comment.
Someday, God. Someday doesn’t mean right away.
But God’s timing isn’t my timing.
God has amazing opportunities available for us. All we have to do is make ourselves available for them. All we have to do is open ourselves to the possibility that God might need us to do something different, something new, something we hadn’t expected.
My daily readings this week are bringing me through the story of Saul of Tarsus, a man who had his life completely in order, who knew what he was doing and why he was doing it, and who did it with zeal and conviction.
Until God knocked him off his horse and blinded him.
God had something completely different in mind for Saul.
God had something different in mind for me and my family.
God has something exciting in mind for you. I can’t imagine what it might be. It’s pretty likely that you can’t, either. God’s imagination is way beyond ours.
I want to thank you all for your welcome of me and my family, for visits, for box-moving and furniture-lifting, for meals, for organizing, for fellowship at last Sunday’s welcome meal, and for more ways than I can count that y’all have already made us feel loved and wanted. Thank you.
Now it’s time to get to work. Let’s see where God is leading us, and let’s open ourselves together to the surprises God has in store.