Sometimes life gets busy, and you (OK, I) find that the things I want to do are shunted to one side to make way for things that for one reason or another I need to do. Case in point was last Wednesday night. Wednesday is Bible Study evening for me, and I benefit a lot from getting together with other Christian guys for a couple of hours to study the Word, or even just to have a BBQ and watch the football, as tends to happen at this time of year...
Anyway, last Wednesday I was also playing host to a guest lecturer from overseas. Different technical societies with the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) pick a few lecturers each year who are not just experts in a topic, but can also communicate what they know to non-experts. The Queensland chapter had joined up with others around Australia to have this particular lecturer flown out for a couple of weeks, and the travel schedule worked out that he was in Brisbane to speak on Wednesday. To the IEEE, these guys (and girls) are a big deal, so it's important to look after them.
So, after a lecture at QUT, like a good host, I offered to take him over to Southbank for dinner. After eventually finding a restaurant that wasn't too spicy, closed after last year's floods, or closing early that night because of low patronage, we eventually found somewhere to have dinner. At this point my heart wasn't really in it - I was feeling like it would have been a much better use of my time to have left at the end of the lecture and arrived a little bit late at Bible study.
But we sat down, picked from the menu, and had a look at some more technical stuff while we waited. When the food arrived, the first thing he says is "excuse me while I pray." Now coming from Asia I wasn't sure if buddhists or hindus prayed before meals, but after a minute or two I asked "so you're a Christian?" He was, and the rest of the evening turned into a much more encouraging conversation about faith, what heaven would be like (he'd read a couple of books of the "near death experience" variety), and things like that. On the walk back to QUT we even stopped to pray for each other.
Isn't God great - taking an evening that could have been quite boring, and was looking like a lost opportunity for fellowship with other Christians, and turning it around completely like that!