Saturday, July 18, 2015

We've Got Plans!--by Linden Malki

A young, brand-new military wife to her husband, about to leave on an emergency mission: Can't you just tell them that We've Got Plans?   How often do we make plans, only to find out that we're really not on the planning level? Whether we understand it or not, none of us are at the top planning level!  There is always something that can undermine even the simplest, or the most well-thought-out plan. Not that we shouldn't plan, but we should always be aware that even  the concrete we think our plans are set into can crack and crumble.

One way or another, I think we are all control freaks.  Making plans is one way of taking control of our future.  Not that it is necessarily a bad thing,but it can lead us too far down a wrong road. Sometimes we recognize that something is not going right, but the time and effort we have already expended makes it hard to change.  Sometimes it takes something pretty drastic to turn us around.

St Paul is a good example of dealing with plans changing--he was sure he knew what he was doing, but after God knocked him over and confronted him with Jesus Himself,  we find him open to to change. He faced visions and shipwrecks and beatings and prisons,  but he was able to turn on a dime and trash his own plans to follow God's directions.  There is a legend that Peter at one point was running away from persecution in Rome under Nero, and on the road Jesus met him, going the other way. All Jesus said was "Quo Vadis?" Where are you going?  Peter then turned and returned to Rome and martyrdom.

The classic example of God messing with a man's plans is Jonah. He had the calling to prophecy, but his plans didn't include God's plan. His own plan was to go as far the other direction as he could go! It took a storm, a shipwreck and a fish to turn him around.  Even when God blessed his efforts, he wasn't happy. 

It's very easy for us to know what we want, and ask God to bless our plans. Sometimes the right doors open, and sometimes they slam shut. Sometimes the doors that open are not the ones we expect.  I may know what i want, and I can be pretty stubborn--but it may not be what God wants for me.   On the other hand, the plan might be more complicated and difficult than I realize.  We might just be a supporting player in God's drama, and we don't know what He is doing with the rest of the cast. We could be sailing into a shipwreck--but even a shipwreck is often a life-changing experience.

 He just might meet us on our own road, and ask where we're going!

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