Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.
Missed opportunity. Those two words ran through my mind as I sat down to my next meeting. In my current role, I work at a Christian college. Walking to a meeting, I overheard a student tell a professor, “My dream is to work in the nonprofit sector. I want to be an executive director someday. But how do I do that?”
Music to my ears–I think it’s powerful when a young adult discovers a passion that I can fully back up. I could have stopped and introduced myself, asking more about this dream. I could have interrupted my plans to love on someone and encourage them. I could have paused my agenda, and perhaps experienced a grander agenda from God. “I could have” is a dangerous phrase. It inhibits regret and sometimes misplaced obligation. In this case, the “I could haves” taught me a lesson about schedules and habits.
Habits are powerful. They can keep forward motion going while making way for the brain to have space for other decisions. I don’t have to think about walking, so instead, I can think about my next meeting. But what happens when a habit–being on time in this case–becomes a missed opportunity?
In John 18:28, the Jewish leaders did what they usually did out of habit. They did not enter the palace so they could eat the Passover later. Their linear thinking had served them well thus far. Here’s the question I have: By not entering the palace (habit), did they miss the ultimate passover (missed opportunity)? In other words, if they had listened to Jesus, perhaps they would have experienced a paused agenda, interrupted plans, and stopped to get to know Jesus.
I’m a big proponent of habit, but when a habit becomes a tradition keeping us from knowing and loving the person in front of us, it’s a missed opportunity. Perhaps the way to not have a missed opportunity is to recognize the Grace standing in front of us.
How many times do our traditions and habits keep us from experiencing something greater?
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© 2022, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.