Are People God’s Milestone Markers for Us?

January 16, 2010


Have you ever thought about a person you may have known many years ago and just found yourself lost in thought about what has happened in that person’s life since you last connected with them?


I found myself there tonight, thinking about a person I’ll call "Junior" that I may have seen once or twice in the last 30 years but I know it’s been at least 20 since the last time I saw him. Could Junior somehow be one of God’s milestone markers for my life? Does God reintroduce people again after many years vis-à-vis a chance meeting? Does God bring thoughts of these people to our attention at very specific moments of our lives to promote reflection?


I found myself wondering how our respective lives many have been different if we had been more closely connected. Would my life have been better or worse? Would it have been slightly or dramatically different? What other crossroads have I encountered that have impacted my life in some significant way?


While I am uncertain whether the scenario I describe is a common human theme, I can say I had that exact experience this evening. After I had put the girls down and Sidney went off to sleep (I’ve always been a night owl), I found myself thinking about Junior. He had experienced some unique and difficult trails in his adult life (as we all do). Suddenly I became overwhelmed with concern for Junior to the point of stopping what I was doing to pray for him. I had likely not thought about him in many years but I felt compelled to stop what I was doing and pray for him.


I must confess that this is not typical for me. I pray often - not usually formally on my knees - but I do pray many times daily, I just talk to God as I go through my day. That’s prayer for me. So I had to consider why I believe God was summoning me - a person who just isn’t regularly connected with Junior or familiar with this Johnny-on-the-spot focused prayer - to pray for him right then. This person must have needed something right at that moment and I was the one God had predestined to pray for him.


So for me this experience was two-fold. On the one hand, this was obviously part of God’s plan for some reason that I do not know and may never know. On the other hand, I believe it was one of God’s milestone markers for my life. It brought brief period of self reflection and assessment which are critical components of a rewarding and successful life.


May God bring you some time for reflection this week.

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