A few years ago, I was invited to preach at the church located in New York City where I formerly served as an Associate. They were celebrating their 169th Church Anniversary. I decided to take Joshua with me and we left with an hour to spare. I had taken this journey enough times to know that when driving to NYC there's always traffic, there's always construction and there's always something that goes wrong. So this time, I planned for it. I knew exactly where I was going, but programmed the GPS just in case. As expected, we came across a detour that lead to another detour that lead to a traffic jam. I was out of my comfort zone, and my estimated time of arrival was well beyond the church's start time. A trip that should have taken me 38 minutes was now going to take almost two hours! Being anxious was an understatement.
I reluctantly called my friend and former colleague and said, "I'm sorry, but I ran into a few detours and I'm going to be late." This was a first for me. But the response on the other end was quite telling. 1. Upon hearing my predicament, my friend laughed uncontrollably. He admitted that he knew exactly where I was, because he too had suffered the same fate on the same road. 2. He told me to stay calm and don't rush. It was more important for me to get there safely. 3. He assured me that the church would still be there whatever time I arrived, and my sermon was going to be preached. If he was nervous, I couldn't tell. "We will see you soon Rev," he said confidently. I needed to hear that. Maybe we all need to hear that.
I got there just in time for the sermon. I quickly slipped on a robe they had waiting for me and rushed into the pulpit. Nothing happened the way I planned, and yet everything happened the way it should have. But I guess life is like that sometimes. If given the chance, I would not have changed a single detail or detour. Would you?