I’m a planner. Always have been, probably always will be.
The first-born of five children, growing up I was the self-appointed boss of my little kingdom. On those long summer vacations, I would plan out daily activities — not only for myself but for my younger siblings. In the morning, there would be time for reading and maybe some exploring or playing on the swing set. Then, if we were lucky and didn’t have chores after lunch, we’d stage a drama that (of course) I would write and direct. My sisters and brother weren’t always on board with my plans, but I never gave up trying.
My well-honed planning skills came in handy when I began home schooling our four sons. Every weekend, I labored over detailed lesson plans and started Monday mornings with renewed determination to end the week by crossing off everything on my school “to do” list.
It rarely happened. A couple of years and a few stubborn students into our home school journey, I decided that some plans are just goals and we pretty much became “freestyle” home schoolers. (Don’t worry — they all graduated our home school and are successful, productive adults.)
I still like a good, well-drawn plan, even if it means I may sabotage it later. Most Sunday evenings, I pull out my Day-Timer to write down what I expect to be doing between appointments and other obligations already on the calendar for the week ahead. I note phone calls to be made and items to be purchased (including when and where). The practice makes me feel in control and saves me when memory fails.
Imagine my delight when I recently began to see a plan that could only be of God’s making play out before my eyes.I don't believe in coincidence. I lean toward Divine Providence. Click To Tweet
I don’t believe in coincidence. I lean toward Divine Providence. I’ve always laid the big things before God, asking Him to listen and respond to my requests. You know the kind of prayers I mean. “Heal this, fix that, make me better, make him more understanding, keep us safe.”
I haven’t stopped praying those things, but lately I’ve found myself saying more often “your will, your provisions, your PLAN.”
And He’s been doing some crazy stuff with my Day-Timer, with my “to do”, “to read” and “to study” lists. There seems to be a theme, a common thread — a plan — running through the opportunities, people, conversations, books, Bible studies, Sunday school lessons and online blogs that come into my world.
And it’s not of my making. Why am I so surprised?
God’s plan for this final quarter of my life isn’t clear yet, but I’m seeing things come together in a way I could never have imagined. Maybe it began when I wrote my Fourth Quarter Manifesto.
Or maybe when I let that last student of mine move seven hours away.
Or maybe when I stopped talking and started listening, then waiting with expectation.
I’m excited to see where God goes with this plan of His. I’m also pretty sure He knows I would be willing to chime in, should He need some help moving things forward. But until He calls, it’s hands-off because I’m all on board with letting Him lay out what He wants to do with this final quarter of my earthly life.
“Lord, just don’t let me sabotage your Perfect Plan.”