Something I am constantly learning and re-learning is the ability to look on disruptions of my plan for the day (and, as requires greater effort, my life at large) with the expectation of something serendipitous in those disruptions. A great deal of the cranky attitudes, short tempers, and frayed nerves in the world come from an inability to trust that God has unexpected good for us in the countless little and large redirections that take place in our lives. Sometimes this crankiness goes so far as to make us pridefully loath to even listen/look out for, accept, and give thanks for the good that comes our way when we are out of our way, but I am hopeful that I am seeing this fault in myself less and less. I believe, and am learning to believe, that God is always bringing disruptions of various shapes and sizes into our lives so as to teach us to trust His control rather than ours.
The specific events that provoked today’s ponderings were these: I made a trip today during my lunch hour to check out some books from the library, but when I got back, noticed that I couldn’t find the reading list that I brought with me to the library. I had spent probably a couple of hours compiling that reading list last week, and to lose it would be the loss of those couple hours which are right now very precious to me. So when it seemed that the list was lost I was very frustrated with myself. (Is it just me or do all creative people habitually lose things? Bono confesses this as a problem of his in the book I am reading this afternoon…) I cursed in euphemisms as I made my way back to the car to see if I could find the list at the library.
As I got into the car, I settled myself down for the little drive to the library and made myself determined to keep an eye open for whatever serendipity might come my way. It came in the form of a song on the radio called “Castle On the Hill” by Ed Sheeran. This is a song I have on iTunes and have heard many times, but I was struck in a new way by the joy that comes through it, and how fortunate I am to live in a time when an artist can shamelessly let himself go like Ed does in that song and it’s okay. I think if I didn’t live in such times I would feel terribly smothered. I even found myself offering a prayer of thanks to God for this goodness as I got out of the car at the library.
As it turns out, the notepad on which my reading list was written was not in the library; it was obscured in one of the stacks of forty-five library books which are lying in my room at present. But even my haste in not looking thoroughly through my room turned out for a good purpose, or at least did not keep that good from getting through to me.
As Paul Brandt says, “Talk about time / and it’s flown away before you’re done.” So it’s back to reading for me. Gonna try to finish the Bono book today, start in and something new, and perhaps read a few more chapters of my first real Dickens (a Tale of Two Cities) this evening.