Friday, July 4, 2014

Who Makes the Plans?

From Miller's Head Overlook
Happy Independence Day!  But it's ironic.  We (in the West) tend to celebrate independence as an inherent Good.  The speaker at a conference at my college this past year said just the opposite, calling the ideas of  independence and autonomy "vicious lies."  He claimed people were designed to rely on someone other than themselves - other people and/or God.  While I am happy to celebrate the country I live and many of the high ideals it aims to stand for, I also value dependence on and submission to Someone great than myself - God.

I'm going to be talking about submission in my message this Sunday in Shenandoah.  I'm going to share that I've been frustrated with my work schedule lately.  I've been getting just one day off for the past two weeks and my body has been feeling it.  Housekeeping is hard work!  But most of all, I realized, my frustration has been that having just one day off (Sundays, so I can lead services) has not allowed me to get much hiking in.  In fact, I haven't done much hiking, and no camping, this summer at all.

As I thought about my frustration, I realized it's source was the disappointment of this summer not meeting my expectations.  Being outdoors a lot was one of the things I was looking forward to most about this summer, even more than ministry, if I'm being honest.  But I realized that maybe God has another plan for my summer and that I would be less frustrated with how I spend my time if I surrendered it to Him, whether that's working or playing.  This change in perspective has changed my attitude, and though I am still hoping to get two days off next week, I won't be so frustrated if I don't.

I do believe God gives us free choice, the ability to make plans, but I don't think that is the same as giving us control over the outcomes of our plans.  Our choices may end up having different consequences than we think they should.  In Jeremiah 29:11, God says, "I know that plans I have for you."  Trusting Him that those plans are good allows me to be content with any outcome of the choices He allows me to make.

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