Ministry By Meandering

I try to schedule my day and plan ahead, but I’ve also found that God’s agenda for me is frequently different from mine. Take yesterday as an example.

In the morning I went to the hospital and prayed with a woman from our church before she went to surgery. I figured on seeing her husband as well, and I did, but I also met her children and step-children who were also there. We waited for a good twenty minutes before we were invited back to the prep area so I had a good chance to talk with the family that I don’t believe have a church connection.

Later that morning I was at our local library and ran into a man who’s working full time but also getting a Bible degree at a local college. We had a chance to talk for a few minutes.

After lunch I had planned to visit a lady in rehab but felt prompted to visit another man in our church instead who’s dealing with a major health issue. I stopped by his house and he wasn’t home, but he drove up just when I was about to leave. When I was leaving his wife pulled up and I helped carry some groceries into the house, something he couldn’t do.

My next stop was Starbucks (you have to deal with the necessities of life). I was doing some e-mailing on my laptop when a man I know came in to get a coffee. He has a PhD, is a professor at the University of Toledo, just got a Masters in Theology, and is also a part-time associate pastor at a local church. He was glad to see me and wanted to get my opinion on his future plans with which he’s grappling. I felt honored that he wanted my input.

Later that evening my wife and I helped out at our church’s fish fry and I met a man I had worked with in a ministry situation 30 years ago. After the fish fry Diann and I went to an “open mic” night at a storefront church where I heard a guy deliver the good news of Jesus in rap. I don’t normally like rap but, Wow, he was good!

I’ve decided that discerning God’s will on a day-to-day basis is not something you can always plan out ahead of time. Sometimes we discover God’s will by wandering around, allowing for the serendipitous Spirit to lead.  It’s interesting that when people build a water drainage ditch they make it straight.  When God makes one He makes a winding river.

I’m trying to appreciate the fact that being a pastor allows me to wander about as I see fit, trying to be led by the Lord. I’m guessing that pastors of very large churches spend more of their days in their offices and at one meeting after another (I have enough of those in the evenings, but that’s another story). I’m grateful I can flit about a bit. More and more I’m trying to pray,

“Lord, where would you have me go today,
what would you have me do,
and what would you have me say?
Help me to be led of you.
This is what I pray.”

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