This weekend I had the opportunity to watch one of my favorite movies, Mr. Holland’s Opus, for the umpteenth time. Love that movie (disclaimer: there is some offensive language in the film so you may want to use a language editor if you choose to watch it…and please don’t email me with your objections :))! The story chronicles the unintended thirty year career of a high school music teacher who never envisioned life in the classroom. By the end of the movie though he realizes what a rich full life he had and how much he would have missed if he had not fallen into his teaching career.
The movie reminded me of a word God spoke to me about 2013 (and beyond I believe) early in the year. Once again I was stressing and straining over God’s Big Plan and all that He and I were going to do this year. This has been my routine with the Lord for many years, between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day I have a period of prayer and fasting and the Lord gives me direction for the coming year.
This year for some reason my schedule didn’t permit me to seek Him in that way, but lo and behold He spoke to me anyway (I just love that He meets us where we are because He is so interested in relationship with us!). I was reading a terrific post by Gary Morland called Don’t over think God’s big plans for you and a light switched on in my brain (as I am sure was Gary’s intention in writing). If I will simply focus on our (mine and God’s) relationship, the “big plans” He has for me will reveal themselves…whatever they are. Not only that, but I don’t even have to know what The Plan is for it all to work out.
When I hyper-focus, as I am prone to do, on figuring out God’s Big Plan then I often miss out on what God is doing in that moment. His name, YHWH, means I AM WHO I AM (see God’s introduction to Moses in Exodus chapter 3). He is the Present Tense God. He is interested in every single moment with me not just making sure I end up at the right destination at the end of my life.
One of the interesting things about our relationship (mine and God’s) and your’s too, is that not only is He the Present Tense God, but I (we) can only experience Him in the present, RIGHT NOW. I may have experienced Him in the past and I plan on experiencing Him in the future, but that experience, the time He and I meet and our hearts touch, is only in the now (at least from our perspective).
If I am too busy looking ahead, searching for The Plan, longing for something different – that’s code for something I think is better than I have right now – then I will miss what the Present Tense God has for me now. Make no mistake, He has something for each of us in every moment we move through and He wants to meet us in all of them.
Let me say that again…IN ALL OF THEM…not just the ones we like. God meets us in the happy moments, the great moments, the sad moments, the profound moments, the seemingly meaningless moments, and even in the horrible one. If we are willing to look for Him, meet Him, seek Him in each of our moments, eventually we will look back over all of them strung together and see how we arrived exactly where He planned all along.
Thank You Father that there are no meaningless moments in You. Every single second of our lives are opportunities to meet, be present with You, the Living God, to cling to You, to know You. Help us to waste not one of them. Help us to trust You for each of them.