Frustration sunk in as I realized my mistake.
I looked in my rearview mirror at the exit sign that grew smaller and smaller as Siri chimed in, telling me (as if I hadn’t already figured it out) that I’d missed my exit.
We had made such good time too and now we had to go way out of our way to get back to our destination.
I was so frustrated.
We finally got back to our exit though and made the final turn toward Sokol Auditorium where NF was scheduled to perform in an hour and a half.
I had bought these tickets way back in October so this concert was 5 months in the making and I couldn’t have been more excited.
Just as my frustration at missing the exit started to lift, it settled once more as I noticed a line that spanned for three blocks.
Gosh darn it!
I hurried to find a parking spot, thinking the sooner we parked the sooner we could claim our spot in line.
There was security stationed at the end of the line to check bags. As they were inspecting my bag, a silver car pulled up to the corner where we were standing, waiting to turn onto the main street in front of the auditorium.
I didn’t pay much attention to the vehicle at first until the feeling of being watched was just too much to take. I turned my gaze to the car and noticed the guy in the back looking right at me.
He had a smile on his face and jokingly encouraged the security guard to check my bag real good. I laughed and gave him a thumbs up, chalking this little encounter up to a guy just wanting to flirt a little.
As the vehicle began to pull away, he maintained eye contact with me and as I got one last look at this stranger it hit me…
That was Nathan Feuerstein! That was NF!!
I couldn’t believe it!
With the astonished looks and growing excitement of the fans around me confirming what I thought, I realized that I had just seen NF in person and that he had even singled me out!
As I write this almost a week later, I can’t help but smile.
It’s a small, rather insignificant encounter, but one that I will probably never forget; telling my kids one day as I show them ‘Let You Down’ that I actually saw that guy in person.
Even more so, as I recall all the incidents and circumstances leading up to that moment, something a good friend once told me comes to mind…
When you do something for God but find yourself getting frustrated when it doesn’t go like you think it should, are you really doing it for God?
While going to this concert was for the purpose of entertainment, the concept still remains.
My frustration at leaving later than I had originally planned to missing the exit to having to wait in a line that was three blocks long seemed justified in the moment.
But what I later discovered was that God had been using those irritating little ‘roadblocks’ as a way to bless me with a little humor; with a memory to look back on and smile at.
I think this is something that we encounter every day. Ask anyone who knows me well, I am a very time-conscious, scheduled, stick-to-the-plan type person. When there’s a plan, I don’t like to deviate from it.
It’s been, and continues to be, a learning process for me to realize that sometimes that’s just not the way our God works.
Yes, I think there’s a lot to be said about consistency and following through with plans and schedules, but what I’m learning is that when those plans and schedules don’t work out, frustration is my immediate response.
That says a lot about where my heart is at.
That tells me that I am more concerned about my plan and my schedule than I am with what God wants me to do or where He wants me to be.
There’s a lot of selfishness there.
Sometimes it’s that long traffic light that you find yourself stuck at on a Monday morning at five ’till eight that’s meant to give you a few extra moments to watch the sunrise.
Perhaps that run-in with an old High School friend at Walmart was intended to give them the encouragement they needed to make it through their day.
Maybe those plans that fell through just freed up your evening for some time that you desperately need to spend in God’s Word.
It might just be that the exit you missed would place you at the exact street corner at the perfect time to run into one of your favorite musicians.
You just never know. But something we do know is that in all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).
This isn’t an ‘I’ll-scratch-your-back-if-you-scratch-mine’ verse. God isn’t saying love me for the sake of getting what you want. What this verse is saying though is that God works in the detailed schedules and the lazy days off; in the meticulous planning and the daily interruptions.
God is working not just for your own good, but for the glory of His name and the purpose of His Kingdom – and sometimes that requires changed plans and messed up schedules.
When we approach our days, our schedule books, and our plans with this kind of thinking, frustration may not be the first emotion we feel when something goes awry. Rather, we might find ourselves smiling up towards heaven, wondering what kind of divine appointment God has in the works for us this time.