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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Best Laid Plans



Isaiah 29:15, “Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, ’Who sees us? Who will know?’” (NIV).

I’m a planner by nature, and it’s hard for me when things don’t come together in exactly the ways I think they should.

Growing up, I can remember my mom talking about having a ‘Plan A’ and a ‘Plan B.’  To be honest, I’ve never been much of a ‘Plan B’ kind of girl.  And yet, I have often lived a ‘Plan B’ kind of life, because… let’s be real… doesn’t everybody?

I have put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed at everything I do, and if you’ve known me for very long or read much of my work, you’ve heard the spiel about how I am a type A, introverted, melancholy, choleric, INFJ (advocate), perfectionist.  And frankly, the list of adjectives I use to describe myself keeps growing and changing at an alarming pace.

This week has been something of a challenge for me, but please don’t misunderstand…  I mean this in the most positive way possible.  I love a good challenge.

I went into this week with a definite ‘Plan A.’  The truth is, it hasn’t changed.  I have this image in my mind of where I hope to be standing on a beautiful fall day in September, ready to take a selfie and proclaim to the social media world that in spite of the obstacles of the past few years, I have arrived exactly where I would have been at that particular moment, all along.  I hope I get to take that picture, but…

There is always a danger in looking for the ‘I have arrived’ moments.  I cringed when I first wrote these words, but I knew I had to keep them, because this is important stuff.

It’s good for me to get out of my comfort zone, so I flew 2000 miles to attend a conference about communal worship, by myself.  Mid-week, I joked on Facebook about how I should have planned that better, but it was actually perfect.  Ordinarily, when I make trips like this, I rent a vehicle at the airport.  This allows for a certain amount of self-sufficiency and privacy, but I was really trying to make this conference as cheap as possible, so I decided to rely on other (gracious) people for rides.  Friends…  I even got into an SUV with complete strangers at one point.  Sometimes I worry about my lack of caution, lately, but it was all good.  In fact, this was a turning point for my week…

As I sat having lunch with people I had never met before, I began to realize how amazingly God is working in the hearts and lives of others in similar ways to how God is working in me…

And a ‘Plan B’ began to form…

And a ‘Plan C’ began to form…

And a ‘Plan D’ began to form…

And a ‘Plan E’ even began to form…

Are you kidding me?  I’m relatively positive that I have never had a ‘Plan E’ in my entire life!

There are many things I need to say, but I’m still processing them.  The one thing, though, that keeps coming to mind is this: whatever happens, I’m going to be OK.  I don’t think I’ve felt like that in a long time. 

Psalm 112:4, “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous” (NIV).

L.

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