I started to draft this blog weeks ago. For over a month, little has gone as planned.
I’m beginning to rethink planning.
This coming from someone who would prefer everything being thought through, executed with ease and ending with fruitful results.
I work for a tour company that plans tours for groups. We arrange a lot of details. We reserve the hotels, schedule the restaurants and sites, even plan where we’ll take breaks. It’s practically perfect on paper. Then the travels begin. We cannot plan for weather conditions, mechanical difficulties with buses, flight delays or cancellations, illnesses or accidents. It is all part of the big picture that we have no control over.
There is always a bigger picture.
There will always be times we do not control the plan.
It seems the things that upset us the most are when things don’t go according to our plans. We get sad, confused, disappointed, or even hopeless when our plans don’t work out.
What if we pursue our purpose and not our plan?
The tour company that I work for has a byline on all their literature: “Travel the World With Friends Creating Enriching Experiences.” That is their true purpose. So when weather conditions, delays, or unexpected circumstances arise while on tour, we continue to nurture relationships and create enriching and lasting memories – even if it is Plan B!
I can’t say I know the grand purpose for my life. I do know, however, that part of it is to be a blessing. Another part of it is to encourage others. So the byline at the top of each of my List of Things to Do says, “Live Simply, Love Lavishly.” It is something I have purposed in my heart to be a criteria for my daily life.
On the days where I don’t cross any of the things off my list of things to do, I still check to see if there were times in my day where I simplified my life, or someone else’s. I ponder whether I took the opportunities to love others lavishly.
Even then… there’s a higher plan, that we don’t always see.
Can I just confess, that today, even as I finally try to finish this post after a month of trying, I am in the midst of nearly overwhelming circumstances, none of which I would have imagined a month ago? There is little I can ‘do’ about any of them. And because much involves my family, I have to yield to God’s plan for them and let go of my plan for them.
What if we pursue prayer and not our plan?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8
The truth is, His thoughts and His plans are not ours. His purposes – that “big picture” is not always in our view. Our plans can not trump His plan. Our prayers do not change His heart.
I have learned, however, that my prayers change my heart. He gently transforms my will, my emotions, my desires, and helps me to accept His plan, seen or unseen, as good. We can not change people or circumstances, but in prayer we can move from people wrestling for control to people resting in His plan.
Years ago, when our oldest daughter was a baby, I was fortunate enough to be able to stay home with her. We had established a daily routine. One day, anticipating that she would awaken from her nap any time, I began preparing her bottle. While I was in the kitchen, she began crying in the other room. I knew she was hungry and was in fact, already preparing to meet that need. That was of no comfort to her as she waited impatiently to see my face at her door. She could not comprehend that I had a plan set in motion to meet her need before she even made it known.
I’d like to think I’m further along in my Christian walk, but I still stress, cry, fuss and whine when things don’t go my way or I don’t see the plan set in motion to meet my needs.
I should know by now that His plan is already set in motion. I just need to trust.
So today, in the midst of the fear and uncertainty and all the problems that have presented themselves, I choose to believe that His bigger plan is the best and that He who has begun a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.
Still Learning to Trust With You,