On my daily commute to and from work I used to drive by a salon that had a large sign outside their storefront, where each week they would post various comments and sayings. One week their post read, “If you want to make God laugh, make plans.”
I remember smiling as I noticed the sign, finding humour in the comment. But I also thought about its truth. How we love to make plans. And make schedules. Striving to press order into our busy and often messy lives.
Dreaming that we can write our stories in the ways we want. Trying to exert control over how life unfolds.
Yet, acknowledging how it is equally true that plans and schedules are so often interrupted.
When life as we know it is derailed by the unexpected and the unpredictable.
Where we are focused on going one way, but life takes an unforeseen turn, and we are spun off onto another completely different direction.
Forced to take detours, u-turns, or a route that we had not anticipated or chosen.
Plans can be providentially interrupted by joyous events. Things that we can embrace and celebrate and savour. Circumstances that while we had not expected them, or prepared for them, end up absolutely delighting us.
But there are other times, such as when our lives are shattered by a phone call in the middle of the night. Or when we are given some information or news that breaks our heart. And instantly, our trajectories become radically altered and skewed.
I think God does smile as we wander about and make our plans. Observing us as we plot and scheme. As we attempt to strategize and build our lives. But all in ways that are limited and constricted by our humanness.
For we are simply unable, with our human brains and hearts, to fathom the possible scope, or beauty, or eternal purpose of all God plans and hopes for us.
The prophet Jeremiah wrote about this very thing. How God created us and has specific plans for us. And how we can be confident in God. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”(Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
We can trust God and His plans. For while some will be agreeable and longed for, others will be challenging and hard and will take us down roads we would prefer to avoid. But all is of God’s plans; and all is intended for our good.
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Photo credits: Anjie Webbie, John Saizaru, from Unsplash