“Many are the plans in the mind of a man,but it is the purpose of theLord that will stand.” – Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)
“Man plans. God laughs.” – old Yiddish proverb
I do not like having my plans disrupted. Can you relate? I’m betting you can.
I had a day full of writing planned. I had set myself a goal to write 10 devotionals for the book I’m writing (ever so slowly), to start rewriting a humor story I had penned years ago (“Escape from Stalag 500” being the new title), and do some blogging. I was feeling good, pumped, ready to roll.
Then I walked downstairs.
Jennie had the kitchen cabinet under the sink open, and all it’s contents spread out across the floor. “We have a leak,” my beautiful bride announced. “I think it’s the garbage disposal. This needs to be taken care of right away.” (Frankly, she’s been conspiring against that garbage disposal for ages. I think she crammed a bamboo cane down in it without the water running. She seemed awfully calm about it, which leads me to believe the act was premeditated.)
OK. No problem. I still have time to write.
Off to one of my favorite writing haunts. Generally the noise at the coffee shop doesn’t bother me, because I have headphones on to drown out the ambient noise. Today, I forgot them. And this was the morning that the Loud Talkers Society (Hopkins Chapter, Local 574) decided to convene at my chosen café du jour. I especially enjoyed the man who kept circling around the place talking in a foreign language on his cell phone at a volume that would suggest that he must have just left a Who concert.
Clearly no meaningful writing was going to get done here.
Then came a text from a friend wanting to meet for lunch. Now I got it. Moment of clarity. God had a better plan for me today. I was getting frustrated because I wasn’t getting my way when my way was not what the Lord had in mind. So, I left the coffee shop, ran to a local big box hardware store to get a new garbage disposal, ran home to pick up my wife and son and headed off for lunch with our friends.
And what a blessing today turned out to be.
I even got to help my seven-year-old with his homework. Funnily enough, homework was not on his agenda for the day, and he whined and grumped and complained and even threw his pencil in an angry little fit. And, thinking back on my morning, I need to repent if I threw a pencil.
As 18th century poet Robert Burns so famously wrote, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men often go awry.” Far better to heed the advise of a more modern-day poet, Steve Winwood: “Roll with it, baby.” So often we get caught up in our own little plans that we fail to look up and around us. We don’t bother asking the Almighty for guidance. We just bow our heads, antlers sticking straight forward, and start ramming our way through life. (No wonder we have such headaches when things don’t go as planned.)
God has a plan for our lives, and every minute holds the potential to affect someone else’s life. What God would have us do trumps our own plans every time. We have no idea what the future holds. And I don’t just mean next month or next year. I mean next minute.
So, when you see your plans for the day unraveling before your eyes, don’t stress. Pray. Open your eyes. See what God has in store. I guarantee you, His plan is far more glorious than anything any of us can come up with.
(As for the writing… I still have time to get through a couple of devotionals before my head hits the pillow tonight. As for “Stalag 500”, I’ll just have to escape another time.)