I had the day perfectly planned. It would start with an appointment in the office. After that was just enough gap in my schedule to squeeze in two drop-in visits. These would be followed by two that were scheduled, leaving enough time to add one more at the end of the day.
But then things started changing. The first appointment was moved back to next week. On my way to the drop-ins a train was stopped, blocking my path on Metro Parkway to my destination. After a while I decided to turn around and change my route. Multiple other adjustments came later as well. The day was nowhere close to the original plan.
The next day I had time allotted for early morning office work, but my laptop took about an hour to reboot – and still remained extremely slow. And this was after I had actually restarted it two or three times! I bit my tongue and made pencil notes that would be typed into documents later.
“Life is all about adjustments,” I often tell people. But now, two days in a row, I felt like I was being bombarded. And this coming after a week where more than half of my appointments had been either cancelled or changed. Then, in another conversation I read, “Love is patient and kind.” (1 Corinthians 13.4)
It hit me on my drive home. The Monday before at Vespers we discussed how 1 Corinthians 13 is all about God, after all “God is love” (1 John 4.16) … thus “God is patient and kind.” What hit me is how incredibly patient God has been with me … and always with extreme kindness. Who was I to be frustrated in making a few adjustments here and there?
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. … Then (and only then) will I teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.” (Psalm 46.10, 13) If I am not willing and able to work on myself, I will not be of any use to anyone else. And what then has become my focus? … me, me, me! … my pleasure … my rights … my way!
So these adjustments? They start with my attitude, and perhaps a prayer added to Psalm 46 (see above). “Make me a servant, humble and meek; … Make me a servant TODAY.” The next step is returning to another familiar word. “My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts … you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace.” (Isaiah 55.9, 12) Oh the arrogance of thinking my plan was the best plan … and my stupidity (insolence?) in depriving myself of the joy and peace God so eagerly seeks to give to me!
Life is all about adjustments – but who do I expect to make those adjustments? The Oxford Dictionary tells me that an adjustment is “a small alteration or movement made to achieve a desired fit or result.” The adjustments I have occasionally made are nothing to the alterations and movement Christ has made for me (moving from heaven to earth to the cross to the grave). And when I resist (fight?) making my adjustments I am actually refusing to fit into God’s plan – and thus jeopardizing my own peace and joy … not to mention my contribution to society!
Thus this morning my meditations took me back to where I need to be … starting with a remembrance of my baptism. Then the simple prayer “Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.” This led into a plea for his grace, Psalm 46, and the Lord’s Prayer. As God works these adjustments on me, my attention then is turned to the needs of those around me.
Life certainly is all about adjustments … God making adjustments in me … as he addresses in his word – “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3.1617) I don’t know about you, but in me that is one extensively long list of on-going adjustments.