Thursday, September 18, 2008

stop and smell

My sincere apologies for the lack of posts here lately. My schedule is slightly overfull these days due to being a full-time student, a part-time administrator, and a willing volunteer with several leadership roles that I continue to fill in our church group. Most weekdays it is a challenge just to make sure I get some real food in my stomach and a reasonable amount of sleep. This week I have not done too well on either of those counts, but hey, this is a no whining zone, so let's get on with the important stuff. I have a giant can of Arizona green tea with ginseng and honey and a yummy apple and cheese salad in front of me, plus I had a little nap today when I got home at 5:30, so we're all good.

I have often said to myself (and whoever will listen to me) that if this faith, this truth, this belief that God is good and loving and wants to be with us and infuse our lives with meaning and purpose - if this truth is no good under stress, then what good is it? If I get grumpy and irritable when I am overtired, if I say mean and foul words and lose my cool when people treat me badly, if I throw a little tantrum and freak out in bad situations, if I have no grace when it is especially needed, for myself and for others, then what is the point of having God in my life? These are the very times when his presence should shine, when I should notice a marked difference between those who try to live life on their own terms and those who submit their ways to God. I am not suggesting that things will always work out better for me because I am on team Jesus - a careful look at the Bible and the life of Christ pretty much blows that me-centric idea out of the water. What I am saying is that if I truly am relying on the creator of the universe and not myself, then how I interface with this life should change. And I believe, by the grace of God, mine is.

Today I spent the usual 4.5 hours in French class. After that, I had an appointment downtown at 1:30 pm to view some spaces for rent that might be more suitable for our church group than our present situation. I had packed a little snack so I ate on the subway ride there and arrived a few minutes early. The location was perfect and everything was looking good. I went inside at 1:25 and found the office door locked. hmmm. I waited 15 minutes and called the number of my contact. I could hear it ringing inside the office. Obviously, no one was there. I left a message and continued to wait. By this time I was talking to God, wondering what was going on and what I was supposed to do. I really didn't have this kind of time to sit around waiting for someone to show up, or even worse, waiting and not having anyone show up. Time. God, this is MY time we are wasting here. You know I have to pick up a book at another location, start on two assignments, catch up on some reading and I really NEED SOME LUNCH. Aha! I quickly realised my mistake. It was not my time. Okay, this is your time, God. If you want me to stand here and wait, I will. I will wait until 2:10 pm and then I have to go. I think that's reasonable. And if this is the place for us, if you want something to come out of this, then please make a way.

So I leisurely loitered in the general vicinity for 45 minutes. At 2:10, two ladies entered the building and I could tell they were looking for someone as well. We had a small conversation and indeed, they were here to view an office space. When I told them the manager was not here, they replied that they had been told to look for the concierge. The older woman wandered through a few hallways and came back with large friendly man. He grabbed some keys from the office, showed them a space on the 6th floor, and they left. Then he asked me what I was interested in. I told him that I wanted to see a space for a live band and church meetings. He was interested in that seemingly strange combination, and we went on a grand tour of 5 spaces, all the while having a very interesting conversation that ranged from his religious fanatic relatives to what my name stood for to how did Jesus become a white guy to music production to drinking beer in church. I liked this man. When we had finished the viewing, we returned to the office and the manager had returned and offered his profound apologies for not being there earlier. He had been visiting his mother who was not well and...he didn't even have to tell me what had caused his tardiness, I was not upset at all. What was happening here in this place was much more interesting and useful than being annoyed. In fact, I thought he was a caring son and silently prayed for his mother's well-being. And then we got down to business.

We discussed a few options, I asked a few questions, and then he said, "I want to rent to you. I will give you either space A or space B for the price you quoted. Which one do you want?" I told him I was not the one to make the final decision and that I would have the people in charge come in to look at the place in the next few days. Inside, I was yelling, "Yippee! I can't believe this prime downtown location and the huge loft spaces he has and so many of the other tenants being musicians and how he is not put off by anything I have said about making noise or public meetings or that word that makes most landlords beat a hasty retreat or hang up the phone: church!"

After a bit more light banter between the three of us, we shook hands and I left the building, convinced that I had just met two very kind and interesting people that I wanted to get to know better and would definitely enjoy having a business relationship with. I am hopeful that the decision-makers will see and feel and know the grace that I experienced there today, but it is not my place to say.

I am honoured that God granted me a time of parenthesis, a pause in my day that made me able to more fully appreciate those two men and that unique place and all my interactions with them instead of just seeing it as another entry in my day-timer and hey, let's get on with it, boys. God takes time for the things that are important to him. He is not in a hurry. He knows the value of preparation, in fact, I think he values it as much as the actual event or result. By simply rushing from place to place, I don't believe I would have been truly prepared to experience and receive everything that he was offering there today. May I always be up for what God is offering to me this day.

These are some flowers at our friends' cottage near Lake Oaureau. Stop and look and smell...it is always worth it.

1 comment:

Shelley said...

cool story Matte. and I am willing to bet that all your other obligations came together as well, if not that day, than when they needed to.

trusting God with time is a very interesting adventure to be on!