My spiritual director once told me about a prayer that he prays regularly: Lord, help me today to be where I need to be and see who I need to see. "You'll be surprised who you will run into," he said.
It's more than just being at the right place at the right time. It's more than coincidence. When you are in that moment, you know there is Someone greater at work. It is a divinely appointed moment.
Take tonight for instance. In my Second Language Acquisition class this semester, I've had the pleasure of meeting a Hispanic man named German (pronounced "her-MAN"). German is from Chile, and he teaches English to non-native speakers in Columbus schools. Since I am in the process of learning Spanish, I felt compelled to get to know him a little better. We have often talked during breaks or as we walked back to our vehicles after class. For a while, I thought about asking him if he would be interested in meeting up sometime to practice my Spanish. Plus, who knows? Maybe we would end up talking about Jesus along the way. Yet, for whatever reason, I never decided to ask him.
Tonight, however, the opportunity fell into my lap. German and I were talking during the break. We were talking about plans for the future, and he mentioned that he would like to write a book. "About what?" I asked. He said he wasn't sure, maybe sort of a memoir. Suddenly, he opened up a bit. He said that he really didn't have anyone to talk to about stuff besides his wife. All of his good friends live back in Chile. Just as he finished explaining this to me, the professor called us back into the classroom. I returned to my seat in a startled awe at how God had revealed in that moment the reciprocal of my desire to meet with German. (This is the second time something like this has happened this year. The first was over the summer at Gethsemani with a Polish monk named Philip. But that is a story for another blog.)
After class, I did ask German if we could get together soon. We plan to. Divine appointment? We will see.