Daily Devotional January 21, 2021

Last year, just prior to COVID-19 turning the world upside down, I had started a sermon series on John Wesley’s Covenant Prayer, but because things had taken such a dramatic turn, I changed the sermons to fit the immediate need of managing the unexpected.

Tuesday, Laura was the volunteer babysitter/receptionist.

As I ate my lunch in the breakroom, which is next to the reception area of Dennis Hall, Laura walked in and asked if I would resume the series on the Covenant Prayer.  Then she began to give me pointers to improve my sermons.

This was completely unsolicited advice because there is no way to improve on perfection, but someone forgot to tell Laura.

As Laura gave me advice, I pulled out my phone and put it under the table so she couldn’t see what I was doing.  Then I dialed the number for the church.

Laura rushed out of the breakroom to answer the phone.

I knew I had come up with the perfect plan and every time Laura came into the breakroom to give me pointers, I would just hit redial and she’d have to rush off to go answer the phone at the receptionist’s desk.

I was so proud of myself.  The immortal words of Martin Luther King Jr. rang through my head, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I am free at last.”

When Laura answered the phone, I heard, “Hello, this is the First United Methodist Church of Temple, may I help you?”  Then there was a pause.  I heard, “Hello, hello, is anyone there?”

As I congratulated myself, Laura walked back into the breakroom and said, “That was strange.  I answered the phone, and no one spoke so I looked on caller ID.  It said Shannon Robbins.”

That was the moment I knew my foolproof plan was not foolproof.  I had forgotten about caller ID.

Did you know there is no such thing as the perfect plan?  We may try to consider every possibility but there will always be one contingency we didn’t count on.  That’s how life works.

You may have your life planned out from A to Z but somewhere, somehow, someway, something will happen that was not in the plan.  It happens to all of us.

The only thing we can always depend upon is God’s love.  That’s why the writer of Hebrews said, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  (Hebrews 13:8)

So, as you go about the business of the day, know there’s a huge possibility that something unforeseen will happen.  Just roll with it and know that God’s unending love demonstrated through Jesus will bring you to the other side.  That’s all that really matters.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, my life seems so unpredictable.  Help me to trust you in good times and bad.  Guide me home.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

God is the only One that is always dependable.  Everything else is up for grabs.  Trust God.

Also, just for the record.  I saw David at a funeral.  I asked him if Laura always gave him advice.  He said, “Since the ninth grade.”  That was the moment I knew I was always going to get sermon advice whether I wanted it or not.

Pray for me.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins