I was reminded of that last year, when it became clear that I was to move to Spain. Big decisions to be made, a transition to adjust to, new staff coming in, boxes (well, an entire apartment) to be packed up & stored. Tears of good-bye to be shed, just 16 months after moving there .... But God showed His hand-- that He was not taken by surprise. How do you trust, when you're completely caught off guard? When one phone call changes "the world as you know it?" On the other hand, if you've been walking with the Lord for very long, how can you NOT trust Him?! I realized my growing dispensability in one location, and how a sovereign God made me IN- dispensable, if you will, in another city. And what I'd anticipated would be one person to "replace" my leadership role in Braunschweig (and how thankful I was for that, in this "changing of the guard," a one- to -one trade) has now become 4! Not only Anja in leadership, but 3 other staffers have come alongside her to serve, as well as some key student leaders! Amazing! Would that have taken place, if I'd stayed? I did not have the ultimate "say" in my plans. But God did/ does. How reassuring. When this is my attitude, anticipating design instead of chaos during a big change, I find the "red thread" ("der rote Faden," as we say in German, or the consistency of a strategy and meaning). Yeah, it makes sense.
That happened again this week. I went to Bally's Gym, to work out on one of those exercise Life Trainer thingys. Sweating, arms pumping, and legs marching ever forward (but getting no where). A fair work-out. And in the locker room I'd tucked away my bathing suit & towel, anticipating the reward of a whirlpool afterward. Ugh-- I strolled into the pool area, only to find that they'd drained the large jacuzzi hot tub, so they could clean it. So much for relaxing warm bubbles for my muscles.
I promptly, disappointingly, turned around and let the ladies' locker room door close behind me. Then it happened. That sigh & the split second when you think something like, "Does this have a silver lining? Could the world (and God) have a higher purpose? How can I make lemonade out of lemons?" Ok, I'm being metaphorical here -- in plain language, something whispered in my brain, "You COULD go have a SWIM in the pool and really work out some MORE!! And that might loosen up your muscles, too!" It did. Hmm. I mean, I guess it did loosen up my muscles, stretching out some of the tightness. And it did, have a higher purpose. To understand that in life is much more fun. And I may avoid a few accidents.