My body sometimes feels like a mystery novel, where all the detectives have “Dr.” in their title. This last week my appointment was with an endocrinologist. I’m suspicious I should have met with an endocrinologist (it’s kind of fun saying this word!) a decade ago, although truthfully, I was not aware of this specialty. It’s possible some of my problems are connected to each other. Clues include surgeries; chemotherapy; osteopenia; and kidney stones. The first line of action is to do some blood draws. The blood draw for this week will have eleven tests done on it. The blood draw next month will have one repeat test so we can compare numbers. In all of the blood draws I’ve had over the years, this is the first time I remember the doctor giving me a specific time for the draw.
I was surprised when the doctor said he wanted the blood draws to be done at 8:00 AM. Not being a morning person, this wasn’t great news! I’ve done this same test twice before, and the doctor who ordered them never mentioned it being time sensitive. I know the last time I did the test it was late morning. Was the test accurate? My endocrinologist (it’s still fun to say!) looked at his watch, and said it was too late to do the blood draw then (even though there is a convenient lab in the same building). Ironically, the doctor’s assistant brought me my orders and said the doctor wanted me to get a blood draw the same day. It was her turn to be surprised when I told her that the doctor didn’t want me to do that. It wasn’t the right time.
We focus a lot as Christians on doing the right things. Do we focus enough, though, on timing? Doing the right things at the wrong times rarely have the results we are seeking. Daily God gives us opportunities to share Christian love. My experience, however, is that many of these opportunities come at inconvenient times. How do we respond? Do we embrace the opportunities? Is there grumbling? Do we try to negotiate in an attempt to find a better time? Are opportunities ever missed because we are not willing to re-prioritize our day?
Being a strong Christian witness doesn’t happen accidentally. Each day we need to focus on Christ. The world tries hard to re-direct our focus! We don’t need to be having a perfect day in order to have a positive effect on other people. We do need to remember who we are, and the lessons Jesus has taught us. Sometimes it is in the midst of our most challenging personal times that we have the greatest opportunities to be a Christian witness. When these opportunities come, we need to be ready to act.
Always saying “yes” to people can be a big mistake. We can go in wrong directions, get over-loaded, and “bog down” our lives. From my perspective, though, saying “yes” to God is never a mistake. This is where richness is added to our lives, and to the lives of those around us. Letting God control our paths guides us to a life we could have never planned.
So, we have options this week. Whose plans are we going to follow? Our plans, or God’s plans? It’s not enough to just say “yes” to God. We need to be willing to respond when God says it’s time to take action. Are we ready to trust God’s timing instead of our own?
Your brother on the journey, Mark