Right Place, Wrong Time

by Diana C. Derringer


“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time”

(1 Peter 5:6 NIV).


I packed our bags, prepared and practiced my workshop presentation, and checked that everything in the house was in order. We loaded our luggage, enjoyed our drive to the motel, unloaded the car, and stood in line to check in.

But when I gave the clerk our information, she said, “I’m sorry. I don’t see your name.”

I spelled my name, and she checked again. “Oh, here you are. We have you down for next weekend.”

“You’re kidding.”  I told her I was with a group, so she checked other names on our list. Sure enough, all were listed for the following weekend. My mind began scrolling the challenges of correcting the motel’s mistake.

Then the manager pulled the reservations contract, and I verified the online conference information. They were right. I was wrong.

So, we picked up our luggage, loaded the car again and drove home, embarrassed but a bit wiser. I had checked and double-checked everything under my control. However, I failed to double-check the date established by the one in charge.

How often do we do that in our relationship with God? We see a need. We sense God’s leadership, but then barrel ahead in our own power. We fail to consult the one in charge for divine direction and timing. Our results often prove far more devastating than a bit of embarrassment and inconvenience.

Whether related to church, personal issues, or writing, all commitments can begin with step one. Do I go on a mission trip now or later? Ask God. Should I visit or call this person today or another day? Pray for guidance. Which publisher should I contact with my latest submission or which manuscript do I work on now? Listen for God’s response. Study the latest information and follow guidelines to the letter in whatever we do, but never forget who directs our steps and our pens.

If we begin each day, recognizing God’s omniscient schedule and his leadership, everyone benefits. We have no need to seek forgiveness for dragging our feet or running ahead of God’s perfect plan. Those we encounter or those who read our work receive the best we can offer. We close each day knowing we followed where and when God led.


All-knowing God, guide every action we take, every attitude we hold, and every word we speak and write. Amen.


* “Right Place, Wrong Time” originally appeared in The Secret Place.



Diana Derringer, a former social worker and adjunct professor, is an award-winning writer and author of Beyond Bethlehem and Calvary: 12 Dramas for Christmas, Easter, and More! Her articles, devotions, dramas, planning guides, Bible studies, and poems appear in more than 40 publications. Her radio dramas for Christ to the World Ministries broadcast into several countries. Visit her at dianaderringer.com.

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