The Inconvenience Of God

My dear friend is going to Rome, but not for a holiday.   She was named to the General Council of her  Religious Order and their Mother House is in Rome.  She will be there for five years, engaging in the work of her Order and being active in different ministries as the Holy Spirit moves her.

I don’t know the criteria her Order uses to appoint Sisters to the Council, but I do know my friend.  A psychologist by profession, she’s intelligent, driven, focused, organized, energetic, musical, devout and in constant communion with her Groom.  Since her appointment in the summer, Sister has been busy settling her affairs here.  It’s been a very busy time but nothing her organizing prowess can’t handle.  Everything in its place; everything unfolding as it should.   Her scheduling was flawless……until she went to see her doctor.

Cataracts!  Sister had cataracts in both eyes.  Cataract surgery has developed to the point where it is now day surgery – quick, relatively comfortable, a minor inconvenience with just one follow-up.  In Sister’s case, however, life threw a couple of curve balls.  First was the OR scheduling problem.  She was scheduled for two separate operations and two different follow-up appointments that would have interfered with her flight plans.  Then there was the “no lifting” restriction which made packing and storing her belongings difficult.

Sister was frustrated with the unexpected turn of events so she gave God a piece of her mind.   “This is really inconvenient,”she told Him.  “I have a lot to do.  This is not a good time.”

God’s answer was brilliant.  After all, He’s God.  He led her to think of His mother, a very young, pregnant Mary riding on a donkey and having no place to stay.  Sister was led to think about the inconvenience of delivering a baby in a stable and placing the King of the universe in a manger.

At that point, Sister stopped complaining to God.  And God, in His providential care of my dear friend, fixed the scheduling problem so that she could have her surgeries and subsequent follow-ups and still catch her plane on time.  As for the restrictions on lifting, that’s what friends are for.

Sister learned that she had to stop being so self-sufficient and start relying on God and on other people who want to help.  She’s been made to slow down and be more contemplative.  The inconvenience of God forced Sister to pause and reflect, listen and relinquish control.  God broke her very impressive type-A traits so that she would start following His plan and give up hers.  During the time that God was systematically destroying her agenda, all Sister could anxiously see were problems and roadblocks.  Last week,  over mugs of steaming hot tea and an assortment of chocolate chip and cranberry cookies, my friend, a dynamo in a habit, reflected on God’s perfect plan and providential care that included breaking her will so that she could do His will.  She had to stop long enough to realize that her future had to unfold in His time, not hers.

God’s plan for my friend is beautiful.    It seems God is leading her along new and uncharted roads and I know she’ll be fine as long as she lets Him be in charge.  God be with you, Sister.  I’m certain that you’re going to love Rome and Rome’s going to love you.  Your Order is blessed to have you at the helm where your considerable talents will be used for His purpose, His plan, in His time.

Deo Gratias

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19 Responses to The Inconvenience Of God

  1. Sister, sounds like a very good role model for all of us and a blessing for you to be so well acquainted. God finds a way to take care of His own, in His own way it seems.

  2. Theresa Kim says:

    Terry, this is well-written. Thank you.


  3. Mr. V. says:

    Great post, thanks for writing it. All things do work together for good for those that love God….if we can but let it.

  4. genesdb says:

    This post reminds me of Jer 29:11… “For I know to well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, nor for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope!”
    My superior loves to say this to our community, “Do you know how to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans… He will indeed laugh! Why? Because they are FOOLISH…”
    Wonderful post! What a great way of reminding Sister of who her REAL SUPERIOR is! =)

  5. So well put. As a wife and pregnant stay at home mother with an unemployed husband at the moment (and for the past year and a half) let me just say that the “inconvenience of God” is the perfect way to describe our situation as well. Sometimes, He asks us to just keep following His plans, even when they don’t seem to make any sense at all. We find ourselves asking, “Doesn’t He know that I could be a much better witness if I wasn’t so worried over our finances? Doesn’t He know that the wonderful doctors who are caring for us deserve to be paid? Doesn’t He know that this is just not the time to not have a paying job?” Yes, He knows all of that and He knows that we simply need to learn to rely on Him more every day, and think less of ourselves. Truly a post I needed to read today. Thanks!

  6. SR says:

    This was so sweet and well written. I will keep her in my prayers. Sounds like a wonderful lady. How many times have I thought as well about our Blessed Mother riding on that donkey. Somehow it always gives me the strength to go on. Great post and loved it! God Bless, SR

  7. alcuinofyork says:

    Small world!! 🙂 She will be greatly missed.

  8. I have a feeling we have more than one mutual friend. I can’t get any info of you except for your gravatar. I can’t link to your blog. Help me out here.

    • alcuinofyork says:

      Yes, I like to stay anonymous online except among friends. I think we may have met, though, when you visited Sister. I was probably in the kitchen — I’ve been baking a lot of muffins here at SM. I’m not sure how to arrange linking to my blog, being something of a blog novice. I’ll take a look though.

  9. susan says:

    I love where her thoughts on feeling inconvenienced brought her. The Theotokos is such a beautiful example for all of us! May we become more and more like her every day!

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