Yesterday started out with a plan. A capitalized, emphatic P-L-A-N. The kind of plan with a list organized with sub-lists. I had it all mapped out: finish Christmas decorations, start wrapping presents, make a couple dozen cookies so my son will have a bit of home for the Christmas holiday, pack the box to mail to him overseas, write a couple thank-you notes, make some phone calls and slog through my ever-growing stack of magazines.
No such luck. Before I had even finished exercising (and I exercise early) the phone began to ring. It rang almost continuously for the next 2 hours. This almost never happens. I guess yesterday was almost never, then. On the flip side, my outbound phone calls were met with either busy signals, answering machines, or no answers, causing my frustration to grow exponentially.
And then the realtor called to say he had a showing.
My house was a mess from all the decorating, baking, wrapping, and well, just living. Have I mentioned that people crawl out of the woodwork at Christmas time to see my house? After months of zilch, nada, zero showings, they somehow decide now is the time to see it?
Because we’ve had so few showings, I tend to get waaaaaaayyyyyy too stressed by trying to make it look “perfect” in case the potential buyer is the one. I mean, I understand that life is happening 24/7 and there’s never ever a perfect time to show my house, but, well, some times are better than others. The holiday season most definitely counts as one of those other times.
Much of what I needed to do yesterday needed to be done as of NOW even before the realtor called. I needed to get the cookies baked and presents wrapped because there’s a USPS-recommended deadline to get things in the mail for my son so he gets it in time for Christmas. That deadline was um…. yesterday. And I can’t quite leave boxes of decorations laying around so that prospective buyers have to weave their way through a maze just to get from the living room to the kitchen. Well, I guess I can, I just shouldn’t.
So while I had my plans, God had other ones for me.
Such is life.
Maybe the people that looked at our house are the ones. Or maybe not.
Maybe God just wanted me to realize that my focus was way off base these days.
I tend to only think of this verse in terms of the larger context. For instance, now that my homeschooling career is finished, the plans I might have for what my next step work-wise is and how I’m going to get there might be totally different than what the Lord’s planned for me. Or how my one son might find his faith again… I have all sorts of ideas, but I’m sure those aren’t anything close to what God’s got up His sleeve. I’m even sure that no matter if I did manage it, my son’s rededication would be so un-artful and graceless there would’t be the same joy in it. What God can do would most assuredly be grace-filled and a story of amazing proportions.
Why I think that He’s only at work in the larger plans, I don’t know. He’s at work in all of it. Even my mundane little “packing for the post office and cleaning the house” plans.
And if my plans are waylaid – no matter how much I fight it – I understand on some level that those plans don’t coincide with His purpose for me. So while I still grumble and complain about how my plans went awry, I take comfort in the fact that there was a reason for them not working out the way I wanted.
I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s for my good.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28