However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, other matters arise that trump my regular schedule and require my attention. Such has been the case over the last couple of weeks. As I write this, I am dealing with the fifth of five funerals within our church family in the last couple of weeks. In addition, once a quarter, administrative duties associated with my pastorate and headmaster-ship require significant attention. Added to this have been multiple illnesses and other pressing concerns within my own extended family.
Despite that fact that I have tried to demonstrate discipline over the last six plus years in consistently posting blogs to my web page at least twice a week (a goal I set for myself when I committed to begin blogging years ago), the above factors have necessitated that I have had to miss a recent blogging deadline or two.
Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I do not like to set goals and then fail to meet them. And yet, as I have reflected on this, I have concluded that it is not a bad thing to miss a self-imposed deadline on occasion, especially if that deadline is missed for a greater good.
As a Pastor, I have learned the wisdom of what Rodney Schell once termed “walking slowly through the crowd”. This was something Jesus Himself practiced. In verses 40-55 of the eighth chapter of the New Testament Gospel of Luke, we find the following story:
40Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,c but no one could heal her. 44She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45“Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
49While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” 50Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
51When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
53They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.
Jesus obviously had a significant Divine Appointment ahead of Him in the home of Jairus. But on His way to that objective, He intentionally walked slowly through the crowd. As a result, when an equally pressing ministry need suddenly manifested itself, He was sensitive to that need as well. As a result, He was to meet not only the one need in Jairus’ home, but another one along the way.
As a Pastor (and Under-Shepherd of Jesus Christ), I hope to make all my appointments, deadlines, and objectives. But if God wills that I have a “Divine Interruption”, I long ago decided this was perfectly fine by me. After all, it was Jesus Himself Who prayed (in that same New Testament Gospel of Luke, chapter 22, verse 42): “Father… not my will, but yours be done.”
And this more especially if that Divine will involves meeting the needs of others who are hurting!
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/.
NOTE: Rodney Schell is the Executive Pastor at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. He is an old friend who had a significant impact upon my life in my formative years. Cf.: http://www.pcbc.org/imnew/staff/rodneyschell/.