In January 1942, C.S. Forester walked into the British Embassy and introduced himself to a young man. The man, fresh from the Royal Air Force, had recently traded his wings for a desk. Mr. Forester invited the young man to lunch. As a writer for The Saturday Evening Post, he wanted to interview the pilot about his experiences in war-torn air.
As they sat over a lunch of roast duck with potatoes and gravy Mr. Forester wrestled between taking notes and cutting his meat. Sensing things weren’t going well, the young man suggested that he write down what happened and send it to the author who would rewrite it, making it suitable for publication. Mr. Forester agreed and they parted ways.
That evening the young pilot wrote about an event from the war and the next day, sent it to Mr. Forester. Two weeks later, he received a reply along with a $900 check. It seems that the young pilot was a writer at heart. His story so moved Mr. Forester that he sent it, unedited, to The Saturday Evening Post who published it. And the post wanted more.
This seemingly ordinary event, being interviewed about his war experiences, literally changed the direction of the pilot’s life. You may know him as Roald Dahl, the author of such famous books as James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Matilda.
Sometimes ordinary events lead to the extraordinary. In the book of Esther, God used the ordinary to save the entire Jewish race. Haman, the king of Persia’s right hand man, became irritated when Mordecai the Jew did not bow to him. This irritation grew to hatred which brewed into a plot to annihilate the Jews. Unbeknownst to Haman, this included the queen. Haman’s heinous plan required supernatural intervention.
So, God moved. And it started with a very ordinary event. The king couldn’t sleep. I’ll leave the story for you to read on your own. As you do, consider what might have happened had the king fallen into peaceful slumber.
It gives me pause. What ordinary event in my life today might set off an extraordinary move of God? I doubt King Xerxes knew that one sleepless night would lead to an event so historically significant, an entire nation would celebrate it annually. This indicates that God cares about the smallest of events in our lives and can utilize any given moment for his purposes. So as you put your shoes on and head out the door today, keep your eyes wide open. God might have an extraordinary surprise hidden in the ordinary steps of your day.