Yesterday I was driving down the Shepton Mallat for a youth conference. Soul Survivor is one of the largest Christian youth conferences in the country with something near 25,000 young people attending one of three conferences back to back. I was driving down representing Scripture Union to promote their devotional and bible study resources.
The trip takes around three hours, non-stop. Mumford & Sons were my musical accompaniment. Sigh No More is a great album, which everyone needs to own. The trip was going well (I hadn’t lost the other car of the convoy) when we stopped for coffee (Which we definitely didn’t organise via text message when behind the wheel). I was very depressed by my cup – they charged me £1.19 for a cup of Nescafé instant coffee!
So we pulled away from the service station and continued towards the next roundabout.
Then I noticed it.
After slowing for the roundabout, I tried to gently set off but as my foot left the clutch the car lept forward. Slamming down on the clutch and brake I was horrified to see my rev counter going up and up. I had to get off the roundabout, so I put my car into second, hoping it wouldn’t lurch as much. With a queue of traffic behind me, and the other car of the convoy beeping it’s horn in frustration I managed to pull into a side street.
After trying the engine again a couple of times, I got out of the car and paced for a minute before phoning the mechanic.
The group gathered together and we prayed for my car.
I sat down for the wait and the thought crossed my mind:
“What are you doing, Lord”
For what purpose would God have us all stop and wait like this? Was there some conversation I was supposed to have with someone? Maybe there was going to be an important chance encounter?
God answered our prayers, joined with those who I had hastily informed on Facebook. The AA man came within 20 minutes. He arrived, and within 10 minutes my engine was fixed and ready for the rest of the journey. God answered our prayers.
Still, I wondered. For what purpose had we broken down? What was God doing?
I wonder if you’ve ever thought this? Going through an injury or some trying period. Or having an opportunity present itself seemingly from nowhere. Stuff that just arrives in our path out of the blue. What purpose has God got in that?
Did you ever stop to think that God was just as present in the rest of the car journey? The rest of it which was altogether uneventful? In my music listening and coffee sipping. In my road thumping and mileage crunching?
Do we limit God to extraordinary things?
I presumed that God was going to do something big in the situation of the broken down car. Whilst I am thankful he answered my prayers, I remember driving away feeling so foolish for almost expecting something ‘weird’ to happen.
Why did I suppose God was going to act then more than I did when I was having a comfortable meal that night?
God is present in the mundane and routine. This is a lesson I need to learn. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for the sudden awareness of the Lord’s goodness in that moment. But, how easy it was to forget minutes later when I was stuck behind a crawling truck!
I hope this week I shall remember, even when I’m sitting at my little Scripture Union stand, that God is in our midst.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)