Monday, June 18, 2012

Rough Days, Wrong Turns, and Divine Appointments

I've had a long couple of days at my job recently with a lot of busy, intern-esque work.  It all culminated in one really long day today with a lot of random tasks and I was left drained at the end of the day, wanting nothing more than to go back to my apartment, recline and watch a movie or two on Netflix.  However, God had a different plan.

To preface, every day on the way home from work, I pass an older black man who sits on his front porch.  As I drive by him, I always wave and he waves back with this look that just screams "who the heck is this kid?"  Nevertheless, he continues to wave back to me every single day.  I decided that I wanted to meet this guy someday, but I can't exactly park my car on the road he lives on because it's very busy and there is no space to park on either side of the road.  So I guess that while I have continued to wave at him every day, I subconsciously had given up on stopping to say hello.  God does not care what I decide to do subconsciously.

So recently, I've been running a lot and trying to get in better shape, so I decided to go for a run.  Well I mapped out my run on and it came out to exactly 3.15 miles.  I was quite alright with that, since I know I can run a 5k.  Right before I left for my run, my friend Daniel Garcia texted me and asked if I wanted to go to Moe's for our traditional "Moe Monday" meal.  After a minute or so of hesitation, I told him I would have to pass because I'm "watching my wallet and my weight."  That was a hard choice because, let's be honest, Moe's burritos are awesome... especially when they are all $5.55 with chips and a drink on Mondays.  Anyways, I head out on my run and after about two miles, I find myself in a very run down area of Lynchburg that I have never seen before.  Everyone was sitting out on their porches, having a good time and the houses were all significantly run down.  For a minute or so, I thought I was running down a street in Jamaica.  Everybody was so friendly and they all waved back and said hello when I waved at them.  I was blessed in those few minutes running down that street.

Next thing I know, I have missed my turn and I have no idea where I am. So I decide to turn left onto some random street and about half a mile down the road, I see a street sign that I'm familiar with.  As I turn and continue on my run, I suddenly realize that I am on the street I take home every day and that I'm about to pass that older man's house.  I got so excited that I started sprinting.  Sprinting does not go well with me by the way, I'm a chubby kid.  As I came to the top of the hill where this man's house is, I see him sitting on his front porch and he waves at me as I approach.  Now I'm wondering if he waves to everybody or if he actually recognizes me outside of my car.  So I wave back when I'm around five feet away from this guy and I stop and introduce myself.  "Hello, I'm Jonathan, I drive by here every day and wave."  He looks right at me and says, in a deep, heavily accented voice, "I know, I wave back every day.  My name is Samuel."  At least I think he said Samuel, this guy's voice was all kinds of rough.  We shook hands and I asked him if that was where he lived.  He said it was, and that was it.  I told him I would see him around.  As I left his front porch and continued running back to my apartment, I told God I would go back and get to know this guy because I felt God laying it on my heart to just talk to him.  I have every intention of running that same route, which is very hilly and slightly strenuous, so that I can learn more about this man's life.

Moral of the story: We don't make wrong turns.  Every single footstep of ours has been planned out by God and is a part of His plan.  I am overjoyed to see the opportunity to do God's work.