Better Than On Schedule?

Yesterday nothing went according to schedule, but everything went right!

Church Council meeting went longer into the afternoon than usual, but as usual it was effective and harmonious. Not everyone agreed about everything, but everyone was agreeable.

That left me running behind schedule as I aimed the car at Santa Barbara. Halfway along the windy, hilly highway from Ojai to the ocean, as I rounded a blind curve there was a man pushing a bicycle with a flat tire. He needed help, but I had a friend to visit in the hospital and then an appointment back in Ojai. Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan came to mind. Jesus didn’t have much good to say about the punctual, duty-driven Levite and priest who rushed by because they were too busy to help.

A half mile up the road I found a turnaround and came back. I didn’t have a pick-up truck, but it was a warm January afternoon. I rolled the top down on the convertible, and my new friend Tom and I popped his one-speed bicycle into the back seat. He was headed to Santa Barbara. What a delightful drive: Tom’s home is in between Liverpool and Manchester, but he’s been studying stained glass in Australia for several years, and he’s on his way home to England via a few days of adventure in America. He had bought a one-speed bike for $60 in Oxnard the day before and was halfway along his 50-mile route to Santa Barbara when I stopped to help. Praise God! But I was falling farther behind schedule.

When I arrived at the hospital “late,” I was right on time. The staff was working with my friend, and was almost ready for me when I walked in.

Then, back in the car to fulfill a commitment in Ojai. In Friday’s newspaper, I wrote an article about how I love art—my preceding blog post. At the end of the newspaper version, I told readers that I couldn’t wait to see The Way on Sunday evening, and I encouraged them to go. When I rushed into the lobby to buy my ticket, the young man told me that the theater was sold out. Fifty to sixty people had been turned away. Argh! My schedule was off-kilter. I had planned to arrive early!

Since I wouldn’t get to see the movie, I wandered into Primavera Gallery for a dose of creativity. Realizing I had unscheduled time in my pocket, I drove to a friend’s home who is waiting for surgery. We talked and shared Communion. My friend was grateful that I had come. I was glad that God can override my plans.

Yesterday nothing went according to schedule, but everything went right!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

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About Ben Unseth

Executive Director at Project Understanding (2014-2017), social service agency in Ventura, CA
This entry was posted in Hypertext: words that point up, Ojai Valley, values and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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