An Unplanned Planned Appointment
8/8/2013 by BY MARK MUNSON
Have you ever had one of?those encounters in which you thought you knew somebody but the somebody you thought you knew was somebody you had never met? You know what I mean. It?s one of those times when you see someone and you call out, ?Hey, Buddy, how are you?? Only when ?Buddy? turns around, he?s not the Buddy you thought you knew, but boy does he look like him from the back! We?ve all had those encounters, haven?t we?
?? I remember one time, while I was still a student at Baylor University, about a hundred years ago, (I?m never too proud to plug my alma matter) and I had been visiting my parents in Austin, I was on my way back up the highway when suddenly I see this guy walking up the side road towards Round Rock. He was the spitting image of a fella I knew in high school whose name was Allen. Well, being an old high school chum, I couldn?t leave him on the side of the road, could I? So, I pulled off at the exit and motioned for him to come. And lo and behold, when he reached my car, he wasn?t?Allen at all but someone who mirrored Allen from the rear! What was I to do? Here I had stopped to help a friend who wasn?t a friend at all but someone who looked like my friend! What I conundrum! Again I ask you, what was I to do? I did what I had stopped to do, and that was to offer him a ride. After a few brief introductions and embarrassing explanations, we started?up the road. But then something unexpected happened. A door opened for me to share the Gospel message with him. He told me where he was going and I told him that I wasn?t headed that way but I could carry him to the next exit so he could get on his journey. But before he could leave me, I asked him if he knew the Lord as his Savior. He said he didn?t. So at the next?appointed exit, I pulled over and began to share with him a Gospel track that I just ?happened? to have in my car.
?? Now, when I opened that tract and began reading it to him, my hand began to shake, so I grabbed a pencil so I could better point to where I was reading. But the shaking wouldn?t quit. I wouldn?t say it was violent, but on the Richter scale, I?m sure it registered at least at 3! He didn?t make a decision that day when?we came to the prayer at the back of the booklet, but he did appreciate me taking him a little farther up the highway and sharing the tract with him. What else could he do? At any rate, maybe I opened the door to his thinking about his eternal security. Maybe I took him further up the highway of life than he or I thought.
?? A chance meeting, you say? An unplanned-planned appointment? Well, maybe, but in the annals of heaven it was more like a planned appointment, one that I hadn?t set, but God above had.?Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:2, ?Be instant in season and out of season...? In other words, ?when you feel like it and when you don?t?. Well, I felt like it, but boy was it a shaky season!
?? So what?s the lesson here? As the Apostle Peter said, ?But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.? (1 Peter 3:15) You never know when you will encounter one of those ?unplanned-planned appointments?.