Christmas Eve….plans don’t always work

This morning I had plans. I planned to finish my Christmas shopping. One last thing for my wife. Then, clean the house and finish wrapping gifts. The sun was shining and all was well with the world. Plans were in place for a quiet evening at home in front of a fire. A light supper and a time for gifting my mother in law. Then, I got a call from my brother. My dad was heading to the emergency room via ambulance. He had an episode that caused him to become very weak. We met at the hospital and waited. That ‘s one of the main activities at hospitals…waiting. All the test results were normal. However, the doctors in their inimitable wisdom decided to keep him overnight for observation. In case you hadn’t noticed, none of this was part of the plan. God knows the real plan. Sometimes it would be nice if God would let us in on the plan. But, then, I guess that’s not part of the plan. We are giving thanks that dad seems to be out of any danger and will be home soon. Why do these plan breakers happen? I haven’t clue. If I did, I suppose that would make me god. We’re all better off if I’m not. Plans? Well, they change. Someone moves the cheese and we need to punt. How do we respond to these kinds of plan changes? I turn to Brian McLaren for this. In Naked Spirituality, he wrote about how folks can respond to unexpected, in his case tragedy, for me plan changes, in a couple different ways. We can say that God has planned the problem, it was “preengineered intentionally by God. Or, we can explain it away as the nature of things with evil in the world. The third way is to look to the future. We can ask, “What possible good in the future can be brought out of this [change of plans] in the present?” That is the way I think I will approach this. Yeah, my plans got changed, but God is still God and I’m not. I’m glad of that.

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