Today's guest post comes from Uwe Bower, a core member of the STSA Church family and a dear friend of mine as well. In today's post, Uwe inspires us to think beyond what our eyes might see and our ears might here. God might be calling you into action in ways you might not notice if you don't pay attention. And you don't want to miss out on that! If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
We’re all terribly busy. Most of us organize our work with appointments, even our private lives. We plan them ahead, we try to prioritize. And yet, sometimes God surprises us with unexpected, DIVINE APPOINTMENTS! When was your last one?
I’m going around town with Uber a lot these days because I have a bad knee. Over time, it’s pricier than the metro, but it’s a welcome change to the crowded, impersonal, unfriendly atmosphere in the metro where everybody minds their own business, and does not mind people on crutches.
To my surprise, I’ve been having an amazing amount of good conversations with most of my Uber drivers, far beyond hi and bye. Not that I was actively looking for it in the first place. But it turns out that a friendly face, blended with a genuine interest in somebody’s circumstances, creates a great environment for deeper conversations. Maybe my own vulnerability, currently more obvious than usual, helps. People have shared very personal stories and asked very fundamental questions about life.
So I felt encouraged to share about my faith, offer some of my humble experience, and not hide my own questions and insecurities. Actually, Uber is a great place to try out that kind of stuff—if it goes wrong, chances are you won’t ever see each other again!
Truth is, it hasn’t gone wrong so far for me. I’ve even had the opportunity to pray on the spot, in the car, for six of my drivers in only one week, three of them non-Christian. Those were some very special moments, and these guys were so happy somebody cared. Maybe this was the first time they ever got prayed for in their lives. I was so overwhelmed with my experience that I told my friends I’m starting Uber Ministries. Now I pray every time before the Uber arrives that, if God wants to rock something, I’m in.
A friend of mine called this type of thing “divine appointments”. We don’t make these appointments, God makes them. But it’s our choice to accept them or not. Because God wants to partner with us, through his Holy Spirit who lives in us and guides us.
That guidance can be very gentle though, and in many cases we hardly even notice that we have declined a divine appointment by overlooking an opportunity that has just passed by. At other times, we feel it clearly when talking to somebody, that we’re facing a choice. Either we choose to open up and let the Spirit guide us as we speak, or we play it safe, mind our own business, and lose the divine moment.
Pity, because God give us all it takes. In fact, He is the One who arranges everything in the first place for us to be a blessing. We only have to do it.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10).
I love the story of Philip's divine appointment in Acts 8. He responds to God's prompting to hang out by the desert road, not knowing what would await him there. It turns out a guy in a chariot passes by, obviously confused by questions of life and faith, and Philip jumps on board, rides a little with him, and tries to help him out. Pretty much like Uber Ministries!
The guy in the chariot happens to be a high official in the Ethiopian government. Encouraged by Philip's words and care, he gets baptized on the spot, and goes on his way rejoicing and ends up starting the church in his home country. Did Philip have any idea what was happening? Was he a professional counselor or missionary? No. But he was obedient, and available. As they say, the greatest ability is availability.
Divine appointments are of course not limited to Uber rides. They’ve happened to me on planes, in grocery stores, on playgrounds and, yes, also in the metro. They’re fun, they bless people, they build our faith. And sometimes, you even get a little compensation. I received an email from Uber, giving me 40% off for my rides for one week.
Thank you, God. 😊