Oftentimes when I am working on things in my office for long stretches, I will listen to podcasts. I actually have over 100 that I need to catch up on from some of my favorite preachers and Christian authors…one day I will get caught up I’m sure. Anyway, my “go to” person to listen to is Christine Caine. I speak of her on here from time to time and retweet things she says pretty often. Check out her link in my link section..she is great. I have looked up to this woman of faith for about 5 or 6 years now. I have to admit I got a little over excited when she sent me a private message on twitter a couple years ago about our mutual love for Jesus and coffee…big moment for me. Anyways, Christine is 47 years old, has two daughters, a husband that brings her coffee a plenty, and she now lives in L.A. and Australia. She spent many many many years doing student ministry as a single chick. She founded something called the A21 Campaign which fights to end human trafficking. She is a Pastor through Hillsong Church in Australia. Author. Speaker. You get the picture. I just love her podcast called “Coffee with Chris” because it is just so real. I have seen her speak multiple times and been to see her in some intimate settings as well. When I hear her speak on her podcasts, it just takes me right back to the time I have gotten to see her where she is talking candidly about life, ministry, and Jesus. I recommend you take a listen if you ever have the time.
Today as I was sitting in my office digging into the word to prepare for my 10th grade girls small group I lead on Monday nights, I was listening to one of her podcasts. In her podcast she was talking about what it takes to be a part of her ministry team and a follower of Christ in general… She said that she often quotes to her staff, “blessed are the flexible for they shall not snap.” My ears instantly perked up, and I rewinded the session to re-listen to what she was saying to make sure I soaked up this word. I could not help but think how true this statement is. As I dug back into the scripture studying about Mary, Joseph, and Jesus it struck me just how flexible they were. I mean there is Mary and Joseph planning their upcoming nuptials and oh snap…they are essentially asked to be very flexible and rearrange their lives in order to align it with God’s will. A couple visits from angels was enough to make anyone snap! Everything that happens in the sequence of those events is so out of the ordinary and not easy but actually required Mary and Joseph to be very flexible… changing when they were married, how they related to each other, where they live, their reputations…both of them. You get the picture. So many times I feel like in the Bible, from other peoples examples, and my own life, when there is a true call to something– it oftentimes requires people to be flexible. Otherwise, oh snap, the whole thing might not ever happen. It requires us to reorder things. Pause things. Hurry up in some cases. Sometimes it even requires us to do a full 180 on a belief or action. Following God requires flexibility. Otherwise, you just might snap.
I personally struggle with this. I am a regimented, closet color coded kinda gal. I like to plan. I like to know what’s happening next. I like to budget. I enjoy that. I get excited over office supplies, cleaning, year calendars, and day planners.
However, I know this is hard to believe, but when you work with God on things that oftentimes means there are little surprises and opportunities that require you to skip your little plan and be flexible. My calendar is a good example of this. When I moved here last year, on my desk was the office calendar that everyone in our office has at church. I immediately started filling it in with my pen. I like pens. Nothing wrong with that. However, when I hit July I was starting to mentally cringe every time I had to open the silly thing. I had written in so many things that had since changed that it was all jumbled looking and I couldn’t really even read it anymore. It stressed me out (Not really, maybe just a little). I could not wait until December 1st when my new calendar could be used. I now have a handy dandy pencil I am using, lesson learned. I have already written in things and had to erase. That is just the nature of life and following God. At some point you just have to learn that you can plan all you want to, but at the end of the day…God could throw a loopdy loop in there of some kind, even if it is good, that requires you to be flexible with your little plans just as Mary and Joseph did. If you are really going to trust Him and let Him lead you, just go on and get your eraser ready,…because oh snap…He has something good in store if you will just flex a bit.