Skip to main content

Planning gone awry

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,
An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy! 






Steinbeck of course borrowed on this:  the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.  Ain't that the truth?

We plan to save some money and our car breaks down.  We plan to have a perfect 2.1 child family, and that little blue line shows up.  We plan our career after college and then find ourselves scratching our heads 20 years later and wondering how we ended up in this cubicle.

Then, there is the daily stuff:  we plan to eat that apple we brought for lunch, but then someone brings in donuts for the break room.  We plan to mow the lawn and do a load of laundry, but the game was on.

Sometimes, when our plans don't turn out well, we're thankful.  Standing in line at the grocery store means we miss getting caught in an accident.  Even though we only plan the 2.1 child family, we can't imagine life without #3. 

There is something about us humans, though, that is always a bit disconcerted when things don't go as planned.  It's unsettling.  We aren't in control like we imagined we were.  We want to hold the reins, steer the ship and organize the troops OUR way. 

And we can't.

And it's a darn good thing we can't.  Look at this:  For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope.  (Jer. 29:11)

Left to our own devices, we screw things up.  When we give ourselves over to God's plans for us, we do so much better.  That doesn't mean our lives will be perfect (this ain't Heaven, and if it we aren't in Heaven, it ain't gonna be perfect), but it does mean we will have hope, and that our welfare rests in far more capable hands than our own.  Our little "mice paws" can't possibly hold what God's hands hold for us.

Comments

Post a Comment

I love comments, even if you don't agree, but please don't leave anonymous posts. A well-mannered reader leaves a name!

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Be Transfigured

From today's readings: 

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the and his clothes became white as light.

...we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Today we celebrate the Transfiguration. For whatever reason, Jesus brought three of His disciples to Mount Tabor to witness this miracle. They weren't sure what they were seeing, but they knew enough to throw themselves to the ground in the presence of Almighty God. St. Peter (who never did anything halfway) excitedly declares that he will erect tents on the mountain as a way of memorializing the event. But Jesus tells him and the others that they are not to tell people what they witnessed - at least not yet.

In the second reading, the requirement to be quiet has bee…

Be Brave

A few years ago, it came to my attention that a young family member was struggling with anxiety and depression. I was able to share with her a bit of my own struggles, and let her know she wasn't alone.

A few weeks after our talk, I saw the movie, "Brave." It struck me that the young protagonist, Merida, modeled a great quality. She was indeed brave.

Being brave is not about recklessness. It is not about confidence. It's not about being foolish, or looking for glory in the eyes of others.

Bravery is about doing what is right, even when you are a quivering mess. It's about knowing that things may not turn out the way you expected, but forging ahead anyway. Being brave is standing by the hospital bed while a loved one is dying, and all you really want to do is turn back time. Bravery is standing up to a bully, when your legs are screaming for you to run. Brave is doing what needs to be done even when you're scared and tired and feeling helpless and hopeless.

I …