I just put new pages into my daily planning notebook. I look at those pages and realize how quickly they fill up and expire. I’m guilty of planning parts of my life for months at a time. Sometimes I get ahead of myself.
We are expecting a second grandchild in several months and I have been orchestrating a timeline for some home remodeling. I have several new consulting work projects. I also know I need to help my brother finish sorting belongings at our former family farm. Then there are special occasions on the new year’s horizon such as my father-in-law’s 100th birthday. I want our immediate family to gather at the beach in the summer. There will be a conference or two thrown into the mix. Perhaps plan a vacation in the fall. Christmas with my brother in his new house at year’s end.
Yet it seems I never quite learn the Planning Life lesson. For three consecutive years I have been humbled with a personal medical situation. Thankfully, nothing severe for outcome, only if ignored. But life situations are sources of aggravation and annoyance. That’s not how I had planned the use of my time! Not sitting in doctors’ offices, or coping with a surgery, or the recovery time…changing other plans.
I guess if I’ve learned anything, it’s that the life journey is always full of detours and surprises. And frankly, I am not really in charge. That is probably a good thing in the big picture. However, I keep planning a big picture that never quite turns out that way. Then I am frustrated and disappointed. As though I did not get what I wanted for Christmas.
I am reminded of my true standing as I read scripture and the words of Christians who have traveled before me. I live in this world by God’s appointment. And I chose to trust the outcome of circumstances to a God who is love. Resting in him I can be free from anxiety and anger. Each day, each year, and for my whole life.
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’ (James 4:13-16, NIV).
“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations” (Psalms 33:11, NIV).
—Written by Karen Spruill