Monday, March 31, 2008

Providential Interruptions

This morning was a typical Monday morning where I usually stop and get gas at the local corner market. I always have my steaming hot cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee with blackberry in hand ready for the first email of the day (I'm addicted, probably to both). I then pulled up to the pump ready to pay an outrageous dollar figure for the smallest amount of premium gasoline. But after I placed my credit card in the slot something happened. No, it wasn't a mind-blowing event, it was just that the pump said "please see cashier." So I proceeded inside to evidently pre-pay for my gas. Only the lady at the counter said that the machine was working fine and for me to step back outside and try it again. Well, then it worked, and all was well, I received my gas. To my surprise I acted quite calmly. That is, sometimes when little annoying things happen like this I often become discouraged. Nevertheless, as this was taking place I became acutely aware of what I call providential interruptions.

There are so many little events like this in our lives in which we have no idea how or why they are even happening. Sometimes these things are big, sometimes they are small; but they always happen, and they're always there. As people of faith we can look back on our lives and evaluate how God has so eloquently orchestrates our steps (Proverbs 16:9). We can glance back in the past and see how all the little nuances have brought us to the place where we are now. Stuff that seemed so insignificant can sometimes play a huge role in the remainder of our lives. Like my credit card not working this morning. I'm not saying it was in fact a life changing event. Was this a big deal? Probably not, but I'll never know until eternity.

See, I believe this is the type of mentality that us Christians need to have toward the areas of our lives that we basically have no control over. I'm not suggesting that we need to think and reflect on every single event that happens to us. I am saying that we should all consider the work of God when we begin to well-up with selfishness in these times of providential interruptions. The tapestry of faith is something each Christian, including myself, has to deal with. But what separates us from the world is our hope in God and trust in His providential care.

Let us heed the words of Reinhold Niebuhr who said, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

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