Sometimes God speaks to us with a still, small voice (I Kings 19:12), and sometimes He gets our attention by very loudly ordering the events in our day in a way that we can't miss Him (Genesis 50:20). This morning has been a good example of the latter. A couple of years ago I started regularly exercising at the Y very early several mornings each week. After a rotator cuff injury and the craziness of being displaced from the flood, my early morning work-outs shifted to late afternoons and evenings. I think I've been to the Y early in the morning only once in the past year. Then today I awoke wide awake shortly after 5 am. "I'll go to the Y," I thought. And I did. I had charted out a pretty strenuous workout, but only made it through about half of my exercises before heading for the locker room to shower.
While getting dressed, I made small talk with another man I didn't recognize in the locker room. After a few minutes he said to me, "I've been praying for an opportunity to talk to someone about forgiveness. You're a pastor, right? Do you have some time to talk?" We found a table in the day room of the Y and had a wonderful conversation about God's grace, the gospel and its power to liberate us both to forgive others and live humbly as forgiven ones. That spontaneous conversation made my day.
In the course of our conversation, the man said, "I've been praying to talk to someone about this for two days, and while I was exercising I prayed for God to bring someone - then there you were in the locker room." And I told him, "I used to come to the Y at this time every week but I don't anymore. This morning when I woke up so early I didn't know why. Why did I want to exercise this early? Why did I stop my routine after half the exercises and go to the locker room? Now I know."
Through all this, God got my attention to remind me that He's active, He's working and He's designing and setting things up in the small details of our lives for His Kingdom's advance, for our joy and for His glory. Nothing's by mistake - including when we wake up, when we go to locker rooms and who we meet. This morning is a clear reminder that all of life is about Him.