Disappointment is part of life. Learning to deal with disappointment is part of how we develop wisdom and maturity. It was a disappointment that Werner Tillinger could not be with us for the retreat and Sunday worship, due to the flu. In dealing with that disappointment, I discovered something of the Spirit.
Werner, Mike and I had collaborated about the weekend over many weeks. We talked and then left space for God to be part of the deliberation. We planned and then allowed God room in between the planning to step in.
When we knew Werner would not be able to join us, we began making adjustments. Mike would preach. I would fill in other spaces, etc. We chose to not make adjustments to all the prayerful preparation and let the scriptures, songs, and stuff of worship stand. We all stepped into a space of grace on Sunday that was prepared before we got there, not only by us, but by the Spirit of God.
There were certainly last-minute adjustments, but I was reminded once again that when the people of God prepare in cooperation with God, there is a bigger container in which God can show up. It seemed to me that God showed up and spoke into that container with words of encouragement and hope through scripture and sermon. God showed up and sang into our hearts in the beauty of music and sacred silence.
Disappointments leave us vulnerable. Vulnerability leaves us open. When we prepare our lives to be places and moments of meeting God, God will show up, especially in our vulnerability.