I want to confess I am no different when it comes to planning. My own studies and work make my days so full, that it seems impossible to do something outside of them. I realized this when my friend brought a girl (stranger) home a few weeks ago. She recently moved to Groningen and was like many other students struggling to find a place. My friend was certainly not prepared to have guests, but she felt that it was the right thing to do in this situation. She just gave her bed to the other girl and managed to sleep on the carpet. Over the dinner they had a conversation about her reasons for such love towards a stranger. It resulted in her sharing about Christ. Even though her schedule does not allow her to take this adventure, the Lord in whom she firmly believes, does.
This reminded me of the miracle of the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Mark 5: 21-43), it occurs in the synoptic gospels accompanied by the healing of a bleeding woman. I imagine if it was to be now, Jairus would have scolded Jesus for not keeping the appointment and jeopardizing everything. How frustrating it would have been for Jairus to see Jesus not honoring his appointment, schedule, and time. But how beautiful on the other hand it is to see Jesus being compassionate with the woman who needed as much attention from her as Jairus’ daughter. Jesus took the risk of being clumsy by being compassionate when it certainly does not fit the things he intended to do that day.
Often we want to be witnesses to Christ within our own schedule, anything outside of that is uncomfortable. But isn’t following Jesus about living a life on the edge? Finding God in the unexpected moment and responding with a heart of compassion? Living with less sleep, disturbing our schedule to be kind to someone, and taking an extra mile because this is what matters? Jesus said if you do a small act of kindness to anyone, you do it to Him (Matthew 25:40). Yet the temptation remains of following our schedule and moving on with the things that are planned. Cultivating an attitude to live with the discomfort of living the love of Christ is a challenge that we as Christian have to face, it is too easy to hide in our schedule but is Christ in there on it each moment of the day?
Philip Larkin wrote in his poem Days;
What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?
When we are spending our day let us put Jesus first in our schedule and the rest will be alright.