Yesterday I planned out the next year(ish) of my life. Relationships, jobs, living arrangements, trips, some goals, and more were all accounted for. “If I Could Plan Things,” I called it.
A dangerous thing to do, maybe. If I keep looking back at it, checking off things that do happen and lamenting those that don’t, I have set myself up for frustration and letdown. My life could become consumed with regret at the goals I did not achieve, things that did not happen in the timeline which I wanted them to.
However, my reason for thinking through what I would like my next year(ish) to look like was not to create a checklist, meticulously putting a tick mark next to each thing as it happens. Fortunately I have realized that no matter how hard I may try, I cannot plan everything that will happen. And truthfully, as I thought about what I’d like the story of my next year(ish) to read like, I got kind of…stuck. After covering my major plot points, characters, and setting, I couldn’t think much further.
My point in thinking through this was to lay out what I’d like to happen so I can see what IS in my control. Because lots of things are NOT in my control. To a large extent, I can’t control which characters come into my life and which leave it, though I may be able to control the environments I put myself in in which I might meet new people. I cannot control major plot points, such as which jobs may or may not be offered to me, but I can control which ones I apply for and how my resume looks. I cannot control unexpected circumstances that may land me in a different location than I am in or have ever been before, but I can control how I accept those changes. And though I have control over some of these things that may affect some of the goals I’ve set for myself, I also have to accept that failure is possible. And if I do fail, even that can turn out okay.
There are some things in my plan that I have no control over. I believe my God has control over all of it though. Even the things I can actively work towards, he ultimately governs. Which is both comforting and unnerving. As has happened before, his plans may not line up with my desires. And that might (and quite possibly will) frustrate me.
Except I believe, though I may not always feel, that he absolutely knows what is best. Not necessarily what will make me the happiest, or what will be the easiest, but what is best. So even though I might have a plan for what I’d like to happen, ultimately it comes down to trust. To trust my God is working things out in ways I cannot see, for a life that I may not have planned.
Til next time…