3 March 2014

My Best Laid Plans

"But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Words there from Scottish writer Robert Burns, taken from his poem 'To A Mouse'. Wise words indeed, despite the dialect. For it seems that, no matter how much I strive to develop a strategy, rehearse a prepared script or otherwise map things out beforehand, my 'best laid plans' do very often go awry...

Looking back over a busy February, I can see that things haven't gone at all to plan. Nothing particularly disastrous has happened, however I don't think anything has gone without a hitch. In many cases I've needed to go the extra mile just to see 'business as usual' go through. 

February 2014 has seen plans cancelled, postponed or get completely rearranged due to: bad weather, people not turning up when they should be there, a favour to a friend, growing pressures from family, people suddenly turning up when they said they wouldn't be there (!), a couple of mystery reasons (nothing was ever explained!), health issues, money issues, etc, etc. It's been exhausting - but it's now a new month. I survived - a little bruised and battered, a little poorer...

I am so glad that there is one sure constant in my daily walk on this Earth. One reliable, ever-present friend... and, as others keep reminding me, He has a plan for my life.

Many have used a particular promise, as shown in Jeremiah 29:11, as a source of comfort to them in a chaotic and unpredictable world. The ESV translation says:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

However, there is more to this verse than meets the eye. I've read some of the commentaries. Perhaps you should, too. It's well worth having a look at this reading in context; study it; mull on it. There's more to it than that...

You think He is going to pull you out of a bad situation, give you an idyllic 'happy ending'? Maybe - but not in the short-term. It could take years...

And it's not a one-way street. I'm conscious that there needs to be a degree of commitment on my side. I am aware that God wants me in this for the long haul, not simply for a quick win.

I reflect on the future. Still unspoilt, pristine. Still unwritten. And I know there is still work that needs to be done; something else that He needs me to do. I just don't know what it is yet...

I do often sit and wonder what God has in mind for the rest of my life. What great tasks are still ahead of me. Whatever His bigger plan is, I still cannot see. 

I push the doors that I think God wants me to; some remain firmly shut. Others open just a little, but there is often nothing there for me; I am disappointed. Wherever He is leading me, I fail to fully comprehend. It's clearly one of those things that will take time to unfold. 

However, I will trust Him. I need to trust Him.

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