Concerning money, it’s been said if you watch the pennies; the dollars will take care of themselves. I believe it can also be said if we focus on the moments; the days will take care of themselves. I’ve realized I plan life in blocks of time, but I remember life in moments of time. Think about it. We block off time for work, sports, church, movies, etc. but when thinking back, we mostly remember individual moments like a comment, a feeling, or a mental image.
While taking a fresh look at the first two chapters of Luke, I’m seeing how God’s wonderful surprises came along in just that way…moments. At the beginning of the story, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Joseph, and Mary were going along in life and stumbled into incredible moments…divine interruptions if you will.
There are so many things about God we can point to as consistent (His love, His faithfulness, His grace, His mercy), but exactly how and when He chooses to do things is completely up to Him. I’m one of those people who look for patterns and trends in life, but studying scripture reveals an interesting pattern of “non-pattern”…and that’s because He’s beyond “figuring out”. The problem for me is while I’m attempting to figure things out, daily moments and opportunities flow by and I want to be ready for the moments. Here’s what I’m learning from Luke chapters 1-2:
- God is always in total control – From the timing of the events in world history, to the Roman census edict, everything fit together to create a scenario God predicted. Put yourself in Joseph and Mary’s position at the specific moment of arriving in Bethlehem only to learn this was going to be nothing like you’d pictured for the setting our your first child’s birth, much less the Messiah.
- Considering His work produces faith – When the story spread of Zacharias’ speech returning, the mood went from simple celebration to one of asking “Wow, what big thing is God planning do through this child?” (1:65-66) I sometimes stop at the point of being happy, instead of letting the moment sink in to produce more faith, which results in higher expectations. A mindset looking for those moments will not disappoint.
- I should speak of His faithfulness – On five separate occasions we see praise given to God for what He was doing (the songs of Elizabeth, Zacharias and Mary, the story told through the hill country of Judea, and the shepherds spreading it in town). They simply told what they knew. They talked of moments where God showed kindness and answered prayer. Speaking about what God has done (and is doing) in our life should be natural and in everyday language. Forget trying to remember “church lingo”, speak of Him as the personal friend He is.
So what does it take to be ready? Good question. Looking at the stories in Luke doesn’t give a regimen to follow, it gives a model. There was a flexible nature and teachable spirit in those mentioned. What do the moments look like for us? Most of the time they appear very ordinary; like a conversation at the mailbox, settling a disagreement at the auto repair shop or answering an email. It’s the boring stuff…but then again you never know. Pray to be ready. You never know how something you’ve learned (or are continuing to learn) may be just what the “moment” needs.
Series: Thoughts on Luke –Luke 1:57-2:20