The incident below occurred years ago when Cleveland’s rep was at an all-time low. More recently, my wife and I spent a wonderful weekend there, strolling the art deco boulevards, eating great meals, and exploring the inimitable Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
I’d missed my connecting flight and gotten stuck in Cleveland.
Oh, the humanity!
Anyway, the result was an unplanned 4 hour layover. I could have bought a paperback, or sat watching the slo-mo ballet of jets on the tarmac. But for some reason, when I prayed about it, I sensed God telling me to take the shuttle into the city. “Are You sure, God?” I asked. “I mean, you know this is Cleveland, right?”
The moment I arrived, I spotted a depressed-looking guy in an “Information” booth. I walked over to him and said, “I’ve got four hours to kill. What’s there to do?”
“Nothing,” he replied. “You know this is Cleveland, right?” (I’m not making this up.)
I told you, God! I said in my head.
But then God replied, “Tell him about Me.”
So I told him about God, the omnipotent, omniscient—and decidedly pushy—Creator of the universe who I do, in fact, love with all my heart and, however grumpily, get all my best ideas from—including things like telling Information Guys about Him.
To my surprise, Information Guy seemed impressed, and even a little jealous. But then he said, “I’m not ready, man. First I have to get my life together. Then I’ll give it to God.”
He was eating an apple, so I pointed at it and said, “You don’t become a tree by producing apples. You produce apples because you’re a tree. First you have to be the tree. Let God make you a tree!”
He looked at me like I was crazy (I get that a lot). But then something seemed to click. Still, he smiled and said nothing more.
So I went off and bought a paperback.
When it was time to return to the airport, I headed for the shuttle, passing Information Guy on the way. Before I could say anything, he flashed me a grin and shouted, “Be the tree, man! Be the tree!”
Then he put his palms together, indicating he’d been praying, and pointed upward.
Have I mentioned that that was my favorite layover ever?
I love it when God springs divine appointments on me, even if I do grumble about them.
Especially when they’re in Cleveland.
“You did not choose Me, I chose you, and equipped you to bear good fruit!” ~John 15:16