I read the books and the magazine articles. I hear the experts tell me that I am to live with purpose. I need to set goals. I need to have a plan and I need to execute that plan.
But what happens when God has other plans in mind? What if God’s purpose is different than the one I have set out to do? Who wins out?
Well, I think we know the answer to that. But what frustrates me about it is, how long does it take an idiot like me to figure it out? How many times does God have to whack me on the back of my head before I get it?
It’s been several weeks.
When I start off my day or my week, I have a list of things that I want to accomplish. I plan when I am going to do them. I anticipate what will get done. Then, and this is where I often get in trouble, I begin to think of how satisfied I will be at the end of the day. I will sit back in my chair, put up my feet and think—job well done.
I haven’t been doing that much. Instead, I have been trying to figure out how it all went wrong. God, why can’t I get these things done? Can You make me more time? Can you make me more disciplined so I can achieve my goal?
It’s not that I am lazy. It’s because other things and other people keep getting in the way. I love these people and the situations that I get drawn to. But don’t they know I have a plan! Don’t they know I have goals!
I resonate with the story of Jairus and his concern for his daughter (Mark 5:21-43). He pleaded with Jesus to come with him so that his deathly ill daughter could be healed. But on the way, Jesus was interrupted by a woman who yearned to be healed. Jesus stopped and spent time with the woman. He healed her completely. I am sure Jairus was thinking, “C’mon, there are more important things to do. This isn’t part of the plan. What about my family needs?”
Actually, there have been great things that have been happening in these unplanned interruptions. I have seen God do amazing things right before me. People are going deeper with Jesus. People are reaching out to others. People are being healed. It has been awesome to watch.
Getting back to the story, Jesus seemed to have no agenda. I say seem because we know better than that. Of course He had a plan and a purpose. He was always on the lookout for the ways He could join in on the Father’s agenda. He purposely made himself aware of the God-surprises. They were not interruptions but they have always been part of the plan.
God, are you saying that my well drawn out plan is not the same as Yours?! Are you saying that I need to rethink my purpose and goals?!
Photo by Dave Gilbert.