"...since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect." (NIV) Hebrews 11:40
I need help (I bet many of you who truly know me are saying, "yes, you do!"). Being the active planner that I am can bring about much organization and structure to my life. This isn't necessarily bad, I can accomplish much in the 24 hours our Dear Lord gives us. My world runs on one of time - I literally live with this "visual clock" in my head, planning out hours and days by which I need to get everything done.
During this time of year, the busy holiday season, you can only imagine how many "plans" I have in my head, on pieces of paper, in my day timer, etc. I have plans for just about everywhere and every part of my life. This is fine, and pretty much great, as I can accomplish much to prepare for the holidays. Until the dreaded thing happens - my plans don't come to fruition. Yep, that's not such a nice scene.
The smile that would grace my face quickly turns into a frown. The great and powerful thoughts that I have turn to cynicism pretty quickly. Then there is the inevitable - who's to blame. Please tell me there are at least one or two of you out there who operate life the way I do! Our best laid plans, plans that are filled with rich and wonderful ideals, can come to a halt within a blink of an eye.
The question is, whose plan is this anyway? Many, many times, these are my own-made plans. These typically aren't plans made with God in mind. These plans weren't necessarily made with God's consult - just my own! In looking at these plans, and then what derailed my plans, I often realize that when my plans take a different direction - it was God trying to gather my attention. This happens often and time and time again, God does not disappoint. He wants me to focus on something different. He wants me to pursue a different direction. He wants me to listen to HIM, not to ME.
As we all know, God's plans are infinitely better for us than our own. It may not seem that way at the time, but there isn't an instance that I can reflect upon where this hasn't been the case. He knows the plans He has for me, and when we work in tandem to make those plans a reality, great things happen - especially FOR me.
So during this holiday season, when plans seem to haunt us, let us all make a pact. A pact to:
- Go to God FIRST when we make plans, asking prayers to discern the right plans for us.
- Realizing when our plans go array that there is nobody to blame, it's just God smiling down on us to say "time for a detour".
- Put aside the disappointment that tends to come with plans that are "undone" and readjust our outlook to a smile BACK to God.
- Take the anxiety that comes with plans undone and turn it to a prayer of thanks to be a bit closer to God.
Our holidays plans can result in some great experiences and memories. Let us remember, though, that plans undone can lead to some time with our Lord. Now those are plans that I would want to have any day.
"Dearest Lord, as the busy holiday season begins, let us be grateful for the blessings you have brought into our life - including the blessing of undone plans. Please help us to appreciate the detours you may provide us, and let us see them as opportunities to be closer to you."
P. S. - First and foremost, a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your families. Please take time to give thanks to God for all He has given you. Also, our Advent series this year will focus on four people who were instrumental in Jesus' birth. I hope you enjoy it. Blessings to all!!