Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

This afternoon, I was going out to buy a phone-card, however as I left the youth hostel, a truly amazing thing happened.

The exact second that I stepped through the doorway and onto the pavement, my friends Bill, Karen and Melanie were exiting the doors of their parked car onto the same pavement.

This was a lovely surprise – my friends from Matamata, with whom I had stayed for over a fortnight recently, had driven three whole hours up the motorway to come and pay me a surprise visit! That was really lovely of them.

And rather than having to get reception to page me, (there are ten floors in this building) what were the chances of us bumping into each other at the exact same second on my doorstep like that? I guess it happens.

Except, and here's the thing, they hadn't come to see me at all.

It transpired that they genuinely hadn't even been told that I was back in the country again. Bill and Karen had come up to the smoke to watch Melanie's dance exam over in New Lynn. Now they were here in the city shopping for shoes. In a parking bay that was, absolutely literally, right on my doorstep. And out of the entire day, they had exited their car at - again literally - the same second that I had been stepping out of the building.

And all by what the non-Christian world rationalises as "coincidence".

Really, there was just no way we could possibly have missed each other without hiding our faces. I asked Bill, "So what made you park here exactly?" and he could only manage "I don't know."

So it was big smiles all round, news of Anna-Lisa, Glen and James, and I recounted how I'd recently returned to Matt's old flat, looking for my electric razor that I had lost there in March! (it's still lost)

Finally we went our separate ways, agreeing that I should of course drop-in next time I'm in Matamata again.

In the euphoria of the moment, there's always something that you forget to say on these occasions. So after I'd left them I realised that I was actually wearing the socks they had given me as a gift, (the most comfortable socks I have) and I should have gone inside to fetch the chockies that I'd brought for them from the UK.

But I can't blame myself for only thinking of those things afterwards. Seeing those three again was the absolute highlight of my week.

God is good.


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