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Divine Appointments

By Durwood Snead - It was a frustrating day in many ways and I had a bad attitude about the meeting I was about to attend. I had invested in this company and joined the board because I expected to help them begin a branch in another country. I had already selected the person that was going to open this new branch. He was a Christian businessman who already lived overseas and had a passion for using business to introduce people to the truth about Jesus Christ. It was a brilliant plan, I thought, taking a great business into a place where people did not know about Jesus, helping with the economy, and helping people come to Christ. (You have probably noticed there was way too much “I” in this thinking.) But there was just one problem. The CEO of this company was concerned that integrating business and faith might endanger the company’s success in this important new market, so he shot the idea down.

The board meeting was as frustrating as I thought it would be. We disagreed about faith and business and I was reminded that the CEO and I were not even close to being on the same page on this issue. After discussing other business for much of the day, the meeting ended. The only redeeming part of the day, in my mind, was the location—a vineyard in the wine country of northern California. The scenery was spectacular, the weather glorious, and as we had lunch in the beautiful outdoors, I thought, At least I can praise God in this incredible setting.

After the meeting, a few of us had dinner together and the host, an advisor and renowned architect, joined us. I sat next to this architect, whom I had heard so much about and whose work I greatly admired. As dinner was winding down, I asked him to tell us some things he had learned in life. He began talking about beauty, symmetry, aesthetics, and serving. Then he asked me a question.

“If I got some of the most famous architects in the world together and we designed a utopian city that caused people to live together in harmony, do you think this would be the answer to solving the problem of war in the world?”

I replied, “I did not and while I do not want to offend, many architects seem egotistical, proud of their work, and I doubt that they could even work together on such a project.”

The architect laughed, agreed, and asked, “So what do you think the answer to world peace is?”

I replied, “I think if everyone in the world were focused on serving God and each other, and they all had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, this would solve the problem.”

His reply startled me. “So you are one of those religious Nazi’s.”

“Religious Nazi,” I asked?

“Yes,” he said. “You guys think you are the only ones who know the truth.”

“The truth?” I questioned. “Do you believe in truth?”

He thought a minute and replied, “Yes, I think so.”

“What is that in your hand?” I asked.

“A coffee cup,” he said.

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“How do you know?” I said.

“Because I am drinking coffee from it, it is a coffee cup.”

“So, it can’t be a squirrel or a car, but only a coffee cup?”

“Yes, it is a coffee cup. That is the truth.”

“Well, that is a pretty exclusionary statement: it can only be a coffee cup,” I said. “I believe Jesus said he is the truth, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, so he is either what he said he is, he’s a liar, or he’s crazy,” I continued.

My architect friend replied, “I don’t think Jesus claimed to be the Son of God.”

“Sure he did,” I said, as I gave him a couple of Bible verses. But then I had a thought. I asked my architect friend, “Have you ever read the Bible?”

“No, I never have,” he said. “I never thought it had anything to do with me.”

I must have shown my shock as I replied, “But it is the best selling book of all time and you are a brilliant man. How can you not have read it?”

We finished our dinner and continued talking. I noticed that the waitresses were listening in on our conversation. At the end of the evening, the architect told me that this had been one of the most enjoyable and stimulating evenings he had had in a long time.

Well, I could not forget this encounter and as soon as I got home, I went to a bookstore and purchased a very nice, leather-bound Bible. I wrote an inscription inside, addressing it to my architect friend from The Architect of the Universe—God. I also marked the book of John and sent my friend a note with it asking him to accept this gift from me and to read the book of John. Several weeks went by and I did not hear anything. Then one day I received a letter from him on his architectural office stationery. He thanked me for the nice Bible I sent him and said that he took it with him frequently. To my surprise, he then said that not only had he read the book of John, but he had also gone on to read about two thirds of the entire Bible. “What a thrill it is to read in detail about so many of the roots of our Christianity and their relationship to our God,” he wrote.

I called a friend who also knew the architect well, and I asked him if he had heard anything about him. “Just that he keeps talking about the Bible you sent him,” my friend said.

Divine appointments are everywhere around us. Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s workmanship, created for good works which God prepared beforehand for us to do.” I am convinced that God has divine appointments for us every day, but we miss most of them. Sometimes they are clear to us, other times not so clear. But I think the condition of our hearts sensitizes our “antennae” to what God has prepared for us. I am trying to learn to ask God daily, “So, what are we doing today?”

I imagine him winking at me, smiling, and saying, “Just watch and be ready; it will really be something, Son.”

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posted by Justin Forman | 11.30.2009 - 7:54 AM

1 Comments:

I liked this! I also wonder how many "divine appts" I've missed in my walk with the Lord. Thank you.
commented by Blogger PegS, 8:58 AM  

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