When I was little, my grandparents called me “Lucy” – as in the Lucy from Charlie Brown. It’s a long story how I got that name, but it stuck. At some point I even had a picture hanging on my door of my namesake behind her famous makeshift desk with a sign that would read “The Doctor is In” or “The Doctor is Out” depending on her presence and her temperament. It was a sign that indicated her willingness to listen to her “client’s” concerns.
Several months ago, I was rushing to my car to get to the next thing on “my” agenda, and I ran into a former student. As I quickly said my “hello”, I tried to speed the conversation along so that I could could get to where I needed to go. I still remember the pain of conviction I felt afterwards when I realized that I hadn’t really listened to or inquired about how my student was doing; I was so focused on what I had going on, that I hadn’t made myself available to her.
It’s a common predicament in a chaotic world. We have so much going on that it’s hard to stop and see anything besides our next appointment. However, as a book that I’m reading reminded me, it’s important to start each day making ourselves available to God. When someone wants to schedule a meeting with me, the first thing I do is look at my calendar and see what time isn’t already committed. However, all my time needs to be committed to Him. So if the schedule must change, or I must be delayed in order to accomplish what He wants, then I must be willing to do that. To God, my calendar must always read “available.”
In Charlie Brown, Lucy would sometimes impulsively flip her “in” sign over so that she didn’t have to deal with a feckless patient. It’s a natural response that we all feel when we don’t want to deal with yet another person’s “stuff.” Too often I find myself asking God to use me, and then wanting to respond as Lucy did when He actually does. Instead, may I start my day telling Him that I’m “in” and than eagerly anticipate the people He’s going to bring for me to minister to. May I be available to Him, and in so doing, be available to those He loves.