A few weeks ago, I went out of town on business. My flight was at 5:30am and we live about 45 minutes from the airport. After adding on the time to get from the economy parking lot to the terminal, I realized I needed to leave our house around 3:00am in order make my flight.
I got to economy parking, got my bags situated and waited for the shuttle to the terminal. I waited and waited. I waited some more. I waited over 40 minutes for a shuttle to arrive.
I arrived at the check-in kiosk only to discover that my flight was closed and I would not be allowed to board.
I had missed my flight.
I was so frustrated. I could not believe I had missed my flight. I could have yelled at the ticket agent. I could have demanded something (anything) from the airport in order to compensate for my day being completely turned upside down. But the end result was that none of it mattered. It was my fault for not giving myself enough time and acting like an entitled princess would not help my situation.
I took a deep breath and ask the Lord these questions. “Lord, why am I on this new path? What am I supposed to gain from missing my flight?” At first I thought the plane I should have been on was going to crash and my life had been spared (melodramatic…I know).
Then I said this simple prayer, “Lord please keep my eyes open for the reason for this interruption in my day.”
The flight to New York was uneventful and I arrived at my hotel without fanfare.
The business portion of the trip went as expected and four days later, the shuttle arrived to take me back to the airport.
I was the second person to be picked up and chose to sit next to the only other passenger on the shuttle.
We started chatting and somehow ended up talking about careers. She was about 20 years younger than me and seemed to be on a similar path to the one I had chosen professionally. When I shared this with her, she asked for my advise.
We talked about her career for the next hour. She shared her fears and concerns and I countered with the wisdom afforded by time and the school of hard knocks.
As we neared the airport, she looked at me with sincerity and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her. I graciously accepted her thanks and it was then I realized that she was the reason my trip had been interrupted.
Had I made my original flight days earlier, we would never have met. I would not have been on that shuttle. I would have been headed to an entirely different airport! I had prayed for the Lord to show me why I missed my flight and I truly believe it was so I could have a conversation with a young woman at a crossroads in her career.
My plan had been interrupted in order to share a little insight and assist someone in need.
How many times have you been blessed by an interruption in your life? Or better yet...how many times have you rushed passed an opportunity because it was inconvenient instead of embracing the moment and becoming a part of His plan...His answer for someone else's prayer.
Priscilla Shirer says in her book "Life Interrupted" that an "interruption - whatever it is, no matter how big or small - represents your next best chance to see [God] take center stage."
He had used my missed flight as an opportunity to meet the need of this young woman. I was thankful to have been His chosen vessel.
I did not always see interruptions as a positive thing, however. I certainly didn't see the interruption of over $191,000 in unsecured debt as a positive thing. Neither were the $77,000 in medical bills or the $20,000 in car repairs Keith and I have cash flowed over the last five years. In my narrow mind, none of those things would have allowed God to take center stage.
In my mind, they were frustrating road blocks. In my mind, they were long detours that took us off the plans we had made for our marriage and our future. In my mind they were delays in achieving financial freedom. I certainly did not see them as positive.
But without those interruptions, this blog would not exist. Without those interruptions, we would not have assisted hundreds of others get themselves in a better place financially through the teaching of Financial Peace University and offering financial coaching. Without those interruptions, I would not have had the insight to write a devotional on money and emotions. Without those interruptions, we would have missed out on key situations that strengthened our marriage and brought us closer together as a family.
My interruptions have firmed up my faith in Jesus Christ. I trust Him more. I trust His plan for my life with fewer questions. (Notice I said fewer...not none!) I do not question detours and hiccups as much as I once did.
A friend once said that it's easy to have faith until you need it. Matthew 17:20 tells us that it only needs to be the size of a mustard seed. Have you seen a mustard seed lately? Not big at all.
Jesus only requires a small amount of faith because having it takes effort...and lots of it. It's our job to make sure we have what we need and use it!
What about you? What interruptions have you had in your life that have allowed God to take center stage? What interruptions have you chosen not to allow and what blessings did you miss as a result?
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See you next week! In the meantime, be well...be encouraged.