Monday, October 3, 2011

The Plan

“The best laid plans of mice and men..." – how many times have you heard that phrase? (Ever notice how we often don’t finish that phrase? We just leave it with the dot, dot, dot hanging out there. Did you know the rest of phrase is “gang aft agley”? And now you know why we don’t finish the phrase. In normal English, we usually translate it as “often go astray” because Robert Burns was writing in some weird, crazy English. Actually, the line was “the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men,” but I’m getting way off track here.)

So, the best laid plans often go astray. There are many times in my life when I feel like that’s one of the most absolute truths in the world. Take for instance a little adventure my mother, friend, and I had last weekend – as many of you know, we were walking in the Komen 3-Day for the Cure, a 3-day-long walk to help raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. Well, let me tell ya, it did not go as planned. Aside from rain, nasty port-a-potties, and a swampy campsite, we also had multiple injuries, sickness and lost luggage. We weren’t even able to walk all 3 days. Not even close to our plan! We had planned on having a fun and enjoyable weekend. We knew the walk might be hard and a little wet, but we really thought we were going to have a great time; instead we ended the weekend feeling a bit like failures, disappointed and discouraged.

Another phrase I hear a lot is,“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” Is that really how it works? Is God up there waiting to see what we’re hoping for just so He can squash our dreams and do it His way? Because, really, what was so wrong with our plan? Is health and safety really so against God’s will?

What about other plans? What about planning to get the laundry done over the weekend, or getting to work on time, or a home-cooked meal? What about the woman who planned on being a mother, but has lost multiple children in miscarriages? What about the man who planned on providing for his family, but lost his job to a bad economy? No one plans for cancer to enter their life. No one plans to have a car accident leave them paralyzed. No one plans on taking care of a loved-one after Alzheimer’s has robbed their mind. Most people plan on good things but often get detoured by the bad things.

I really don’t think we serve a God who delights in ruining our plans, but it can be so hard to understand when His plan doesn’t match up with ours. Sometimes, if we’re lucky enough, we figure out what God’s intention was and why His plan was better than ours, but other times we never really know. I have to be honest – I really hate that.

It seems like everything I struggle with keeps coming back to trust. Do I trust that God has the best plan for my life? Personally, I planned on big things – I wanted to be the first bestselling novelist to win an Olympic gold medal, a Grammy and an Oscar. That has not happened and, sadly, it’s looking more and more like it never will. ;-) I said earlier that the “best laid plans” quote sometimes seemed like an absolute truth, but the real truth is this: God knows the plans He has for us – plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future (paraphrase of Jeremiah 29:11). Seems like a pretty good plan to me.


  1. Proud to call you my daughter.

  2. Nicely done, Janda...