We had to get up and out early for Bible study. It was the first day, and I wanted to set the right tone for the year (and okay, I’d missed pre-registration, so in essence, we were late already). Hey, maybe we’d even get a happy “back-to-school” type pic to make up for our less than picture-perfect beginning earlier in the week.

So, filled with hope and determination, we rose early to prepare breakfast; pack lunches; and spit, shower, and shine. Running five minutes later than I wanted—but still ten minutes earlier than normal—we tumbled into the car with our Bibles and our pencils and without our usual fuss over who’s sitting where. We battled unusually heavy traffic the whole way, so our prayers during the thirty-minute drive included an entreaty for safety and speed. Drive like the wind, cowboy! And God heard us: we got there all in one piece, and early.

By an entire week, that is.

Now, you know I don’t arrive anywhere early. It always amazes me when I hotfoot it into the doctor’s office and breathlessly sign in, only to see other patients casually flipping through magazines, firing pottery, or making a pot roast in the waiting room because they’ve arrived with plenty of time to spare. Imagine how my jubilant face crumbled when I turned into the nearly empty parking lot and realization hit. Foiled again!

But slow your roll. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Yes, we arrived a week early, but I got there in time to laugh with another early bird and encourage her return. I got my days mixed up, but as it turned out, it gave me more time to visit with good friends—people who are as “time challenged” as I. They welcomed us over in time for breakfast instead of at lunch as we’d planned. In fact, we stayed there well into the day, enjoying food, fellowship, and an impromptu lesson on not fretting—and I got pizza to boot and still got home in time to do math.

Sure, if I had had the choice, I would have lingered in bed a little longer. We would have eaten a leisurely breakfast, done our morning devotion, and I would have lectured on everything from the mess in the den to the laws of indices. I would have saved my outfit and piddled around in my pjs until soccer practice. I wouldn’t have chosen to go anywhere…fast.

Yet God. He orders my steps though I plan my way. (Proverbs 16:9) He assigns a purpose to my every misstep and perfects the picture when I stray outside the lines. Glory be to God Who arranges a soft place to land when I fall—into His loving hand.

Will the stars, the little people, and the traffic align next week so we arrive early? We’ll see. It’s possible, though I fear unlikely. But I serve an unlikely God. Tune in next week to see when this early bird catches the Word.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand. (Psalm 37:23, 24)


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