Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Divine Appointment 

On the train to Hong Kong. My current visa requires me to leave China every 90 days. I was thinking, again, about going to Vietnam, but I sent several emails to youth hostels there, and did not get any response, and I had not taken the trouble to get a Lonely Planet guide for Vietnam, so I didn't want to go in there cold without some information. Also, I talked to Snow a few days ago, and she told me it was really cold in Beihai. "Really cold" is a relative expression, of course. South China folks tend to feel very, very cold in North China. The attendant standing at the door of the car when I got on today is from Guangzhou. She said she had lining in her shoes, but was still freezing. And she has been doing this kind of work for 18 years.

But as a matter of fact, South China locations are often quite humid, so in the winter, the inside environment, where there is often no heat, is cold and damp--much more unpleasant that Beijing. It's interesting. When people from the south come to North China, they feel cold and want to go home so they can be warm. When i go to South China, I feel cold (because there are no hot water radiators inside), and can't wait to get back to Beijing so I can be warm. Anyway, I said all that to say that when I checked the temperatures, I found that the weather in Hanoi, which I would have expected to be quite warm this time of the year, is actually colder than the weather in Hong Kong. So I bought a cheap hard sleeper ticket to Hong Kong and called the youth hostel. Hong Kong has a big youth hostel association--lots of dorm beds.

But I am also thinking along other lines. I am very interested in setting up some kind of organization to facilitate Chinese young people getting involved in outreach to other places. So I am going to Hong Kong to meet some people. I don't know who yet, but I think I will find out. Divine appointment. I first heard this expression when I hitchhiked across the country as an 18 year old kid. I ended up in Florida, and the Miami Baptist Association set me up with a family that had agreed to host people who were coming to participate in their outreach campaign for the Democratic Convention. Dick Shirey told me that he felt my coming to his home in Hialeah was a divine appointment. I couldn't argue. Before I had gone to Florida, I had never heard of Hialeah. It seemed perfectly logical to me then that I was put there by some sort of divine arrangement.

So how do we understand a divine appointment? Sometimes, I think you just have to let them happen. But it's not fate. It is directed by a sovereign God. So the focus for each of us, I think, must be on getting in touch with God. It is up to God to get us in touch with whoever else he may want us to meet. I can't say I was particularly good at it that summer of 1972. But I definitely was determined to find God's purpose, and I believe that God heard my desire, and met my need. He got me in touch with exactly the right people.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?