Planning your life is easy. Living your plan is not.
“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned to have the life that is waiting for us” ~EM Forster
I posted this quote as my Facebook status this morning. Today wasn’t the first time I had run across it. But it was the most recent, and, as every time before, it resonated with me, struck a chord in my soul.
I know that my being in a reflective—and melancholy—mode comes as a great surprise to those who know me best. ~Smirk~
Here I am, nonetheless.
Since early 1997, I have been living in a post-apocalyptic state where personal plans for my life are concerned. Nothing I have done professionally since that time was part of the plan. Whether it was delivering pizzas and driving a taxi (yes, I did both for a short period), working as a salesman, managing a rent-to-own store, teaching middle school or adjusting homeowners’ claims all over the US and (now) Canada, it has all been unscripted.
I had a plan, but my own failures drove me off course. So, I have done what I must to keep the wolf at bay and the fire in the family hearth while I navigated uncertain waters and explored uncharted territory.
For the longest time, I figured this was but a detour. I would get back “on track.” I would be a pastor again. It was just a matter of time. None of this was part of the plan, but the plan was still intact.
How slowly I have come to realize the plan is not about the man. The man and his plan are both subject to the will and way of the only One whose plan is never thwarted, whose way is never lost.
But then I look back on my life and realize how little of it I really planned anyway. It was not my plan but His that I was born into a family of devoted believers. It was not my plan but His that the greatest influences on my formative years were preachers.
I didn’t plan to get married so young, but when I fell in love with Donya, I sure didn’t plan to let her get away.
I guess Donya and I planned to have a family, but we surely didn’t plan to welcome our firstborn into the world just 11 months into our marriage.
I didn’t plan to live in California for seven years or become a senior pastor at the tender age of 23. I didn’t plan my dad’s death or my return to Texas in 1991. I never planned to live in Paris, Texas and serve as pastor to that wonderful family of believers.
So, none of this was planned.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord . “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me…”
I have finally let go of my plans, so I can learn day-by-day where I fit into His.
That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it.