This is the first in a series I have affectionately named the "B" series (no, there is no A series). Grant you, having a series of "be"s is nothing new. Jesus did it first with His "Beattitudes." Still, we often forget that so much of our faith is action. The only "be" we tend to care about is "be" saved. That's about it. We forget that our faith is a continuous call to action. A constant call to serve. A standing command to be everything we can be and even that which we cannot in order to further the Kingdom of Christ. We are altogether to comfortable sitting around doing nothing, leaving all of the 'spiritual stuff' for those 'spiritual stuff kinda people.' We are supposed to be those 'spiritual stuff kinda people.' We need to be available.
This is a personal antagonist of mine. I loathe being inconvenienced. Many of us do. We settle into a one track mind and believe that A, B, and C are going to happen. We plan accordingly. So, when K walks up out of turn, we become highly annoyed. Still, in that moment, we have a choice. We can run K over and proceed directly to A. Do not pass "Go." Do not collect $200. Or, we can handle K first and embrace this little change in plans.
God tells us His thoughts are higher than ours and His ways are beyond searching out. What this means is that, more often than not, when K wanders up to us out of turn, God is the one who put K there.
Case in point, the other day I was inconvenienced by one of my students. He decided to announce that he was not going to be able to go home for another 30 minutes. Translated, this means: Miss Jessica, you have to stay here with me for the next 30 minutes of your life, wasting your time watching me because I didn't have the wherewithal to make sure I told my ride to be here on time. At least, that's how I heard it.
In that moment, I had a choice. A) I can be very annoyed and make sure he, and the entire world know that I am being inconvenienced. B) Be available. I took a deep breath, excused my coworker to go home and braced myself for a long 30 minutes. A minute later he was gone. Well, that's convenient. Instead, I was left after school with a group of students (brothers and sister) waiting for their mom, who would be 30 minutes late.
In those thirty minutes, God smiled on our little powow. One of my students started talking about faith (rare, even for a Christian school) and shared his testimony. I watched as this young man literally became lost in his Saviour and in all that God had done for him. He talked, and talked and talked. Normally, that would annoy me too, but I had made the decision to be available. I listened, smiling with a genuine joy, sharing in his rejoicing, praising the Lord that in this dimly lit school there was one little light trying to shine.
I couldn't help but smile, even laugh as I drove home. How God used those moments to encourage my heart, to strengthen the faith on which I stand. To prepare me for the test coming later that evening.
As I turned in to bed that evening, I was still swelling with emotion from the encounter earlier in the day. God is so good!
I picked up my phone and discovered a text message. Long story short, the girls had the wrong number but the same names as some of my students so it took us a while to realize that we actually did not know each other. I had a choice A) Inform them that they had the wrong number and that I was not going to stay up any longer dealing with them. B) Be available. After the events of the day, I again chose B. The following hour led to a friendship with a young preteen girl, nervous about entering high school next year and worried about how she will handle math. As our conversation ended, she texted me: "Good night, Miss Jessica." I slept well that night, praising God for a day, that to me, was more about victory than anything else.
We have to realize that God's ways do not fit within our logic. The broken down car on the side of the road may very well be an opportunity to be Jesus to someone who is hurting. The young mother of four behind you in line at the grocery store may very well be an opportunity for you to further the Kingdom. What we see as inconvenience may very well be God's divine appointment.
We need to wake up every morning expecting God to use us, not wondering if He can fit Himself into our daybook. As your feet hit the floor in the morning and your mind starts laying out "A, B and C" take one moment to step back, grab a Sharpie and over it all write: "Be Available" because that is the most important thing on your to-do list, any day. And that way when L walks up to you completely out of turn, you can face it with a smile and say, "I've been expecting you."