Please Don't Sit There

“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:23‬ ‭(NLT‬‬)

As I boarded the plane and found my seat, I wanted so much to have some quiet time to myself. It had been a rough week. Work had been taxing and I needed to prepare for a sermon I was going to preach the following weekend. What I wanted was some time to think. 

I settled into my seat and realized there was no one in my row. WOOOHOOO! Thank you, God. I can stretch out and rest and think. They closed the doors to the plane and just as I was getting ready to spread out, the flight attendant walked up to my row with a man and said, “You’ll be able to stretch out more in this seat.” I’m not going to recount the thoughts that popped into my head at that moment.

Anyway, as we took off I heard “Ask him why he’s going to Dallas.”  My response? “Why would I do that?” Again. “Ask him why he’s going to Dallas.” I know the Voice and sometimes I listen to it. I wish I could say I always do but that would be lying.  This time I did.  I asked him. And I got to hear the best story about how he was going to meet his daughter who lived with her Mom. He was bringing her home to spend the summer with him. 

He told me her mom was afraid of flying so the only way she was allowed to come see him was if he actually picked her up at the airport in Dallas. His day started with an hour and a half drive to the airport where he got on a plane in Virginia, flew to Dallas, met his daughter at the airport and flew back to Virginia and then drove an hour and a half home.  I was dumbfounded at the taxing day this man had ahead of him.

We talked for a while and I asked him “What do you want your daughter to take away from these trips?” His response? “I want her to know that no matter where she is, I will come get her. I will go anywhere to be with her.”

Did I mention that my sermon that weekend was on Father’s Day? I wanted to think through how to portray the love of our Heavenly Father. Do you think God wrapped that up in this one conversation that I didn’t want to have with a man I didn’t want to sit next to?

Our encounters are never random. They are divinely appointed. Maybe, just maybe, we should embrace each encounter we have every day as if God were in it. Because he is.