Have you ever experienced a divine appointment?

Some of us are old enough to recall Apollo 13 as something besides a movie. The mission launched on April 11, 1970 to complete the third manned moon landing. To outside observers, spaceflight had become almost commonplace. This appeared to be just another routine mission, but Apollo 13 reminded everyone that space exploration was anything but “routine.”

We all know the disaster that occurred when an oxygen tank explosion ripped a gaping hole in the spacecraft. Critical systems were crippled, the moon landing was aborted. I remember watching with everyone else during the following days as an army of engineers and support personnel did about a million things at once to save three astronauts and figure out how to get them safely back to Earth.

Apollo missions included planned course corrections necessary to hit precise navigation targets. Computer guidance normally accomplished these complex adjustments automatically, but the explosion damaged those systems. As the crew rounded the moon and began their return trip, their fragile ship drifted off course. They would have to manually alter their path. Using untested methods and calculations relayed from ground controllers, three men had to hit a tiny moving target more than a hundred thousand miles away.

To save their lives they had to set their ship in a trajectory that would bring them and the target to precisely the same point. Even a minor error would send them to their deaths.

I can’t imagine how impossible it must have seemed to hit a moving re-entry window less than thirty miles across from tens of thousands of miles away. The astronauts had to establish a curved trajectory that anticipated numerous variables and aimed at an empty spot in space. Their skill brought them and their target to exactly the same point at the same time.

I think that’s how God works most of the time. He makes seemingly small course corrections (one-degree miracles) that sometimes send us in directions that don’t make sense. It’s as if we’re headed into empty space.

I think that’s what happens as we do our best to listen and follow. He gently re-directs us and sets us on trajectories that bring us to places He can use us.

The problem, of course, is that we can’t possibly see what He sees. We try to draw straight lines and make simplistic cause-effect conclusions, but it’s not that simple or immediate.

Think of a time when you’ve found yourself in just the right place with just the right people in a setting no one could’ve anticipated, a time when something powerful happened that changed lives in a powerful way. And if you believe in God you know it didn’t happen by accident. It was a “divine appointment.”

Now imagine all that went into bringing those folks to that point, all the small decisions and twists and mistakes that placed people on trajectories that intersected in that tiny window of time. Imagine the endless course corrections, one small moment of each life building on thousands of others, all leading to that divine appointment.

What are your thoughts about trajectories and divine appointments?

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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