Friday, January 20, 2017

Best Laid Plans Sometimes Go Awry

It hasn't been easy to stay sequestered at the guest house on my kids’ property on my “God” quest this month. After all, I have two young grandsons, who I adore and they adore me, and when Nana’s around, it’s usually play-time! They inhabit these grounds, so I’ve had to be very resolute in staying hidden. They’ve coped pretty well with my “disconnect” from their world. Their Mom and Dad have been great in reinforcing my solitude.

The guest house has been stocked with plenty of food and drink to keep me nestled in, with very few needs or wants. Well, except for this one thing. My kids have the most amazing ice making machine on their outdoor patio (you know that “Sonic” crunchy ice).

Yesterday, knowing Bryson would be at his golf lesson, and Mama was probably running errands, I snuck over to the main house for a refill. Front door was open and it was dark and quiet, so I knew the coast was clear. That’s when I made my way to the door through the kitchen to the patio. I heard a little something and looked down and there was Bryson in the kitchen chair playing a game on his iPod. He didn’t see me so I started quietly backing out of the room when Bentley (their dog) saw me and started to bark. Bryson turned around and said “Hi Nana. What are you doing here?“
Me: “I was sneeking in to get ice. I thought you were at your golf lesson!”
Bryson: “Nana, haven’t you been noticing the rain? We could swim on the course, but not golf.” I hadn’t noticed, obviously. “Nana, did you hear about me losing 5 teeth, yesterday?” I had heard – baby teeth that weren’t giving way to the big boys needing to come through.
Me: “Did the tooth fairy come to see you?”
Bryson: “Yes.”
Me: “How much?”
Bryson: $100.
Me: “Well that’s what happens when five come out at the same time! I gotta’ go back to my chapel in the woods! I sure love you!”

Best laid plans sometimes go awry! My little scheme wasn’t earth-shaking when it went awry, but how many times do we make a plan, chart a course, set goals, cast vision, and even set out on a long-awaited dream-come-true adventure and something still goes wrong?

Most of those times, there are logical reasons beyond our control that keep us from our plans. Other times, it’s simply a matter of readjusting a schedule, and the plan can proceed. Quite frankly, changing the course or our mind is not a bad thing. Having to reconfigure doesn’t make us a flip-flopper. In fact, accepting that this change is for our good and God could be planning an even better outcome than what we had planned shows we' re flexible.

My husband and I had saved and planned for a 7-day cruise in the Southern Caribbean. We had been working hard and this would be a much-needed get away. We had even minimized our expenses by driving down to Galveston instead of flying there. The cruise started out magnificently, but on the 2nd night, after the Broadway Show, the ship came to a halt in the middle of the ocean. The lights flickered off and on and soon inexperienced cruisers were running for their life vests. This wasn’t our first cruise so we were confident that we would soon be on our way and we became encouragers to those very anxious travelers. As it turned out, the engine had caught on fire and there was no option but for the ship to be towed into the nearest port which was 150 miles from us. It was 24+ hours of trepidation for folks, discomfort (no-running water, so you can only imagine the rest room facilities), low on food – the next port was where they would be restocking), and it was too warm to stay in our cabins, so most all of the 1500+ cruisers were on the outer decks. Such complaining we heard, but all my husband and I could think “This is going to work out for our good!” And, sure enough – it did. Not only were we refunded this cruise in its entirety, but we were given a free 10 days cruise of our choice, for a future date, as well as airline tickets.

Oftentimes, best laid plans really weren’t the best laid plans at all, because if we truly believe that our steps are ordered of the Lord (Psalm 37:23) and that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28), no matter whether OUR plans work out or not, God’s ways are so much higher than our ways. Why don’t we just learn to do what the old Greyhound bus commercial said, "Go Greyhound, and leave the driving to us.....OR "Go God, and leave the outcome to Him!"