My son and I watched a movie together a few weeks ago. As the credits started rolling, I hopped up, gave him a hug, and headed into my home office. While I cherished our time together, I had to get back to all of my to-dos on the list. They just could not wait. I had a plan for my day and needed to get to it. Several days later, my son informed me that I had missed the best part of the movie. There had been a secret scene at the end of the credits that was super exciting and gave a whole new spin to the plot. I asked him why he didn’t come and get me, and he just replied, “I didn’t want to mess up your plans.”
I was reminded of his words today as I faced a disappointing situation. A project that I had put heart and soul into did not work out, at least not in the timing I was counting on. I had dotted every i and crossed every t and planned every detail of who, what, where, how, why, and especially when. It would be perfect when it all went exactly as I planned.
And then it didn’t.
Life happened. Unexpected things came up. Problems blocked the way. I fought it for a bit and convinced myself I was going to control circumstances that were beyond my control. I even got a little testy and started requesting other people jump on my river boat of denial and pretend that my plans would go ahead as planned. If I kept beating my head on an unmovable wall, insisting that eventually I would make that wall move out of my way, right?
Have you been there? Have you given your all to something big or small knowing that you had it all figured out? That you knew which way it would go? What did you do when it did not go the way you planned? I know what I did. I whined. I complained. I pushed and demanded. I exhausted myself trying to make all the pieces fit where they did not belong. I was convinced if I just fought hard enough. I prayed questioning prayers of why and when my plans went wrong.
Let me pause for a moment and say that if you are one of those people that is beautifully blessed with the ability to let challenges roll off you like water on a duck’s back or you are a skilled master of just go with the flow, you may be excused. You may go make some yummy hot chocolate and have a lovely nap in the recliner.
But if you are like me, invested to the Type A core in your own dreams and plans, so sure it all will be perfect, and then have a little sassy-southern-style meltdown when it isn’t, hang here with me for a bit longer.
Let’s talk about these plans of ours. These beautiful, perfectly ordered plans. These plans that give us nice, safe, and secure guardrails from the big bad world. We invest a lot in them and their success. But what if our grand plans are making us miss something more that we never expected? I wonder how many times I missed the bonus scene because I was so focused on what I had planned instead of what he did.
What if our plans are limiting us, keeping us in one place, keeping us in the box, and keeping the best of the best out of reach? How many times have you used that hindsight of yours and seen the mess you avoided, the path you were thankful you did not take, or the beauty of what you never imagined? You didn’t plan any of that.
Of course, it is disappointing when something we work hard for doesn’t work out, but it is also amazing when we see that something happen that we never imagined to be possible.
Today, I take away the lesson that yes, my plans did not work out, but that change may just be the beginning of something I never could have planned. But He could. Today, I wait to see what God will do with that unmovable wall instead of beating my head on it. If God can move mountains, He can move that wall, but I will have to get out of the way first. Do not mistake a disappointment as the end. Hang around to see what may be there after the credits roll. Do not let holding on to your plans make you miss the showstoppers that are His plans. I think it is worth the wait.