A couple of weeks ago I made an impromptu decision. I love being spontaneous. So I got online and made plans to take a mini-vacation, a long weekend skiing at a place I had never been - Big Sky, Montana.
I have not skied in several years, but every time I do I love it. Makes me wish I lived closer to places where it snows. So I am enjoying a nice relaxing evening before hitting the slopes tomorrow.
All by myself. And I'm enjoying that part of it.
So what's the funny part? Well, as I boarded the plane from Minneapolis to Bozeman, I saw a man walking down the aisle wearing a Bama cap. Someone from home - cool. That should get me a "roll tide." And it did. But then he and his family took their seats, and he was right next to me.
I've got to confess, I was a little thrown. I was several hours into my solo vacation, and I was enjoying the idea of 3.5 days away from everything and everybody. I love vacations with my nephew and nieces, my sisters, my dad, and my friends. But the idea of a few days to recharge my batteries in the open cold air is good too. At least for me.
And now God had put me right next to someone with clear instructions to engage.
I enjoyed the conversation, but part of me was thinking, What if God wants me to use this vacation to spend time with this family and be a light to them? That was not what I had in mind, and I know God was not pleased with my attitude.
So here's where God's sense of humor comes in. I was sitting on the plane reading a book when this family came into my life for the day. Here is the specific passage I was reading from How People Change (Keller & Tripp):
These are the very reasons why community is such a big part of God's plan to transform us into the image of Christ. Living in community pushes us to die to ourselves.Yeah, pretty much part of a whole chapter about how we are need each other, how we need to live in community, how dangerous it is to be a "lone ranger Christian."
All of which I believe. I love my community, my church, my family, my friends - all of which are helping to conform me to the image of Christ.
But this was my time!
Ummm, no, says God. There's no such thing. We are all in this together, and there's no such thing as a vacation from that. God had to be laughing as he brought this family to these seats…on this flight…during this vacation…while I was reading this passage.
Oh no, Donnie. There is no solo vacation, or solo anything else.
We parted ways after we landed, but they are still with me. They are with me as I eat dinner, hang around the lodge, and will be with me as I ride the lifts tomorrow. I am not here - even here - for myself. I'm here for God and for others.
And that makes it all worthwhile.