I remember 35+ years ago living in Southern California and thinking I had to be cool -or KEWL, as they might spell it today- so I liked to get dressed up if I was going out. Of course at that stage of my life, in that context and in that culture, getting dressed up meant that I ironed a tee shirt (preferably one with some sort of anti-establishment message on it), and pulled on a pair of designer jeans. Today I prefer to dress down most of the time, so I don’t bother ironing the t-shirt (still wear the ones with messages – usually a different type of message, though) and the jeans are whatever is on sale from the Softer Side or at Wally-World.
What brought that up is that yesterday I read Mark Batterson’s new Book Soul Print. And as I was reading it and writing a review, I kept thinking how much I could have used this book 30 or so years ago. If I had been able to live some of the practices Batterson writes about, my life might have been a lot kewler. But He also put the antidote to that kind of thinking into the book: it’s not the disappointments, delays and disadvantages that I need to waste time worrying about, but rather I need to be on the lookout for the divine appointments that tend to accompany the delays and discouragements.
Batterson’s point is that when things don’t turn out the way I had planned them, it might just be because God is saying, “Hold on, I have something much better in store for you”. And as I look back I can see that God has taken me to places I never dreamed of, and as a result my life has changed in many different ways.
Things didn’t always turn out like I had planned, but they turned out the way God wanted them to happen, and as a result of those disappointments, disadvantages and delays in my life, I’ve been primed for the divine appointments that God had in store for me.
I didn’t become a millionaire by the age of 30, and it doesn’t look to promising for 60 either, but that’s okay. I’m rich in so many ways that are counted in a way that doesn’t include dollars.
So I have a choice, and so do you. We can look back at the past, let that define us and lock us into a future that is devoid of joy, peace, hope and love; or we can turn the past over to God, and let Him use it to shape our future. The exciting wonderful future that he has in mind for each of us.
And by the way, all those times of disappointment, disadvantage, delays actually have something in common with the divine appointments. You seem in good times or in bad times, I can turn to God and it will keep getting different. Actually whether I turn to God or not things will continue to get different, but different with God involved is a lot better than different without knowing that He is there beside me!