Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Plan

I am the kind of person who likes to have a plan most of the time. Each day I plan out the meals I'll eat all day. I plan out when I'm going to get up each morning before I decide when I should go to bed. I plan when I'm going to work out and when I'm going to go shopping, sometimes days in advance. I like to have plans, but they don't necessarily have to be rigid and minute. I'm OK with knowing that I'm meeting a friend at a certain time and place, even if I don't know what we're going to do while we're together. I'm fine knowing that a coworker will send me a document "sometime next week" or that I need to call the seamstress about having a dress altered around the beginning of March. I don't have to nail everything down, but I like a general sense of what's going to happen and what will be expected of me. I like some sort of plan to be in place, even if it's a loose one.

The problem with following God is that He has a plan, but I don't necessarily get to know what it is. Sometimes it feels a bit like being led led around blindfolded. I have no idea where I'm being led, but I know I certainly wouldn't do any better wandering around on my own. I could make a plan for my life right here and now without consulting God, but it wouldn't be a very good one. I'd be wandering around blindly with no one to guide me if I didn't follow God. Still, if I stick with God I have to deal with the way He works. If I follow God's path, I can't force Him to show me the road map to my life in its entirety. God gets to decide when to reveal parts of the plan and how much to show me. I'm following a plan, but it's not really mine—it's God's.

Sometimes following God's invisible plan feels like aimless wandering. If I can't feel the figurative hand on my arm, I begin to worry that I'm wandering lost. I have to trust that God is nearby, watching my steps and ready to redirect me if I go too far out the way He's prepared for me. Sometimes it feels like I'm getting no direction at all, and it can be hard to keep my faith when I feel so lost. I pray and try to listen, but I find nothing but silence. I worry that the lack of instructions means I have somehow gone astray. It's hard to accept that the silence might just be an indicator that I simply need to keep doing what I'm doing, continue placing one foot in front of the other and trust that God is still leading me.

In the week I spent away from this blog, I thought and prayed a great deal about whether I should continue to write it. I don't know what role God wants me to play in the world and in the Body of Christ, and I don't know whether this blog is part of it. When I started writing here, it seemed like something that was a good idea, not something that was a calling. So I found myself confused about whether the initiative for the project had come from God or me. Was this a silly whim or an important project? I didn't know. So I thought and prayed and asked... and heard nothing. No answer. I realized that I didn't feel profoundly guilty for not writing for a few days, but I wasn't convinced I should leave it behind, either. In the end, I decided that the lack of information meant that I should continue on, so here I am. 

Now I'm left to wonder whether or not my decision to continue on with my blog was divinely guided. After all, when I prayed I didn't get a definitive answer. I heard nothing. Still, I've learned that silence can sometimes be an answer. Perhaps God anticipated that I could work this problem out on my own. Maybe God wasn't ready to answer my questions about my purpose in life and where I'm going as a Christian. God might have thought that a definitive answer about whether or not this blog is an important part of a developing ministry in my life was too much information to share with me at this point in my life. I don't know. I can only hope that if this project is in any way detrimental to God's plan for me that He will somehow let me own. In the meantime, I will continue blindly on as best I can.

I know that God is watching and guiding me. Sometimes I can see His hand in my life and sometimes I can't, but I trust it's there. Sometimes I've only been able to appreciate the divine guidance in my life months or even years after the events took place. I cannot always see how God is working, but that's OK because I'm not in charge of the plan. God's got the plan under control, and that's good enough for me.

1 comment:

Becky McGrady said...

I am glad you decided to continue. Reading your postings is always a highlight of my day, and not just because you're my daughter. You have insights that I constantly find valuable.

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