All of you who are thirsty, come to the water!
Whoever has no money, come, buy food and eat!
Without money, at no cost, buy wine and milk!
Why spend money for what isn’t food,
and your earnings for what doesn’t satisfy?
Listen carefully to me and eat what is good;
enjoy the richest of feasts.
Listen and come to me;
listen, and you will live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful loyalty to David.
Look, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a prince and commander of peoples.
Look, you will call a nation you don’t know,
a nation you don’t know will run to you
because of the Lord your God,
the holy one of Israel, who has glorified you.
Seek the Lord when he can still be found;
call him while he is yet near.
Let the wicked abandon their ways
and the sinful their schemes.
Let them return to the Lord so that he may have mercy on them,
to our God, because he is generous with forgiveness.
My plans aren’t your plans,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my plans than your plans.
Isaiah 55:1-9 (CEB)
I know I’m trying to do too much when I start scheduling myself in 15-minute increments. It is good to be attentive to time, of course, and there is perhaps nothing on this side of heaven more satisfying than crossing items off a long to-do list. It is also true that the most meaningful encounters happen when we allow time to slip, when we settle deeply into the moment, allowing a conversation to go on and on until our defenses are low enough that we share just who we are and what we are about. That, in my experience, takes more than 15 minutes.
Our discipleship is an invitation each day to remember who we are because of who God proclaims us to be. This takes intentional time, too, intentional time in contemplation, prayer, conversation… it can take years before we dare to believe the simple truth that you, YOU, YES YOU, are loved by God. God’s grace is deeper, wider, and more abundant than we could ever imagine.
God’s plans aren’t our plans. Thank God for that. God has a better imagination than I do. No matter what you have experienced this week, this year, this life, no matter how convincing the evidence to the contrary, trust today that you are claimed, chosen, adopted, named, redeemed, justified, and beloved. You, just as you are but not as you will remain. God has plans for each of us, and as we cooperate and allow ourselves to be renewed and transformed in God’s grace we awaken day by day into better plans.
Grace and Peace,