Ten minutes before a conference this afternoon, I spotted my co-worker Randy Montgomery in someone else’s office. On the spur of the moment, I stuck my head in the door and said, “Hey, Randy, you might want to sit in on this. These guys are going to tell us about the new mobile apps they’re designing.”

A quick glance at his watch. “Sure. I have another meeting in half an hour, but I’d like to hear about this.”

Randy didn’t show at the appointed time, so we started the meeting without him. An educational consultant and I began to describe New Life Together, a new discipleship ministry we’re beginning. We were just getting into the nitty-gritty details when Randy popped in.

“Tell them about Focus 40,” I said.

Within a few minutes, sparks began to fly. Creative sparks. Randy told them about the 40-day devotional emphasis leading up to Easter, and they told him about a mobile app that could feed daily devotional readings to people who participated. “It’s an app we developed, called Daily Devo.”

“You’re kidding. I have that on my iPhone,” Randy said. “I use it every day.”

They were off to the races, so I turned to my high-powered consultant and said, “Don’t worry. We’ll get back to our project eventually.” And we did.

What held me in thrall was the way Randy made connection with two guys who carried an important piece of his ministry puzzle, just on the spur of the moment. Or was it something more?

I believe it was a divine appointment.

Granddaughter Jillian is three years old, which means she knows her own mind and isn’t willing to let someone else impose their mind on hers.

I learned several visits ago that it’s pointless to say, “Take my hand,” when we step out of a restaurant into busy traffic. Jillian’s answer to that directive is, “No.”

A forceful grasping of that little hand brings an instant reaction: Jillian becomes a writhing, crying bundle of protest. Then, holding her hand isn’t enough.

But somewhere along the way, Papa learned to say, “Jillian, take my finger.” Jillian’s response is completely different. As we stepped out of Perkins Friday night, Jillian was leading the way with the sprightly, carefree step that of an adventurous three-year-old, so I said, “Jillian, take my finger.”

She pushed through the door and stepped onto the walkway, then reached back and took my finger. Without a single word to coax or remind her, she held fast to Papa’s finger for a couple of laps around the restaurant until her parents emerged and it was time to get into the car.

We spent an hour at a city playground yesterday, and Jillian was in her element–running, laughing, climbing, and sliding down the spiral turrets of the playground slides. At one point, she climbed up onto a masonry wall surrounding the playground, where older children were teetering with outstretched arms to practice their balancing skills. But Jillian had a plan. As soon she she stood up on the wall, she looked at me and said, “Hold your finger.”

Papa dutifully extended his finger, Jillian gripped it firmly, and walked with confidence around the ring where children twice her age were wobbling and wavering on their own.

So many times, I feel frustrated because God does not give me the firm, clear direction that I pray for. After a weekend with Jillian, I wonder if I’ve been expecting too much. Perhaps I’ve been waiting for my Father to say, “Take my hand,” when He doesn’t intend to guide me in that irresistable way. He’s not saying, “Take My hand”–much as I want Him to!–but He’s walking behind me (behind me) and gently saying, “Take My finger.”