I am still surprised sometimes by my journey through life. I find myself driving home from work thinking about how different my life is now from the one I imagined when I was a teenager. Someone posted a little sign on FB about God’s answers to our prayers:
2. Not yet
3. I have something better in mind.
For the most part my life has been about #2 with a generous helping of #3. And I have been ever so grateful that there haven’t been more “yes” answers, because sometimes my requests were just stupid. We often forget that our plans for our life are made within the limitations of our knowledge and experience. Think about that for a while and you will realize it is profound. Why do we ever think we can outsmart God with a brain he created in the first place? And why would we want to limit ourselves to what we can conjure up with it?
When I was young, one of my frustrations was our constant moving. I would just get comfortable with a group of people and a school and a town and off we would go to another one. I remember once I got elected as class secretary and had to turn it down because Mom had told me the day before that we would be moving in three months. I pouted a bit, and complained a lot, but Mom always seemed to have an answer for everything, and her advice about moving was always the same: “bloom where you are planted”.
It never occurred to me until I was an adult that moving might also be frustrating and inconvenient for my mother. She was not what you would call “social” and had few women friends. I remember only two who were significant during our early years before my parents “settled down” back in Oklahoma. But mom always seemed to make a home, join a church, find the library, and plant a garden no matter where we moved to or how long we stayed. There was security in our lifestyle if not in our location. And she never seemed to question God’s wisdom, only her own. She didn’t waste a lot of time on “what if”, but got busy with making the most of what we had.
I often shared my life plans with my mother and she would just smile that wise smile of hers. I wanted twelve children and I was certainly going to raise them in one town- a very big town- and I was also going to be a high school English teacher and a famous writer. I would never, ever dig in the dirt or work outside and I would stay thin and beautiful and wear designer clothes. I even knew at one point that I would drive a red car! And a rich husband was a given.
I sounded like a silly school girl, and I was…but some people never seem to grow up and the essence of their plans and prayer requests seems just as silly. I listen to people who want something better and want to be somewhere else and want to do something different. All well and good. But sometimes it is also good to do the best you can where you are with what you have. Bloom where you are planted and let God take care of the harvest.
Thankfully my own life plans were adjusted by someone with more knowledge and experience than my own and I am eternally grateful for the way things have turned out.