Friday night, my two sons were at a church lock-in, and Melanie and I watched a movie. We had plans. The next day, we planned to drive to Tennessee for a reunion with my spouse’s family. These were our plans.
First, my phone rang. It was the associate minister who was in charge of the lock-in. The voice on the other end was one of the chaperones, “We are on the way to the hospital with your son.”
The youth had been playing a game, and my son was chasing another teen (part of the game) and accidentally put his hand through a window. By 4:00 AM, we were home. He had 8 stitches and will be fine. And, all was okay.
It Wasn’t Okay.
We did not feel like driving 6 hours after spending the night in the hospital. Instead, we decided to stay home and work on our house. Melanie called her mother to explain why we were not coming to the reunion. Of course, her parents were disappointed. We were disappointed. (We also lost the cost of whitewater rafting, but that’s okay.)
We changed our plans because of an unexpected event. As disappointing as it is, life regularly unfolds with changes. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus observed that life constantly changes. We should expect change. We should adapt to changes. We should roll with it.
God Has a Change of Heart
In Jonah, the main character expects God to destroy the Ninevites. God has a change of heart. Jonah 3.10, “When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.”
Jonah was disappointed that God had a change of heart. He wanted to see the Ninevites destroyed. God wanted something more, soothing richer. God wanted the people to turn from their ways. When they did, there was no more reason to bring down fire upon them.
Hopefully, there will be more family reunions in the future. Hopefully, there will be no more trips to the hospital.
Trying to find God’s grace in the midst of changes can be a challenge. This challenge is part of the faith journey. We keep seeking God’s grace, keep asking for forgiveness, and keep adapting to the changes along our path.