“Man plans and God laughs.” We’ve all heard that and chuckled (somewhat ruefully) over the statement. Personally, I very much like to have a plan, and I enjoy “getting all my ducks in a row.” For me, it’s important to know what my purpose is and then line up the activities to achieve it. That’s my comfort zone. Know the game. Know the players. Follow the rules, and the preferred outcome will occur. Until it doesn’t….I recently experienced a very small example of this. In July I turned 70 and with that milestone, I took stock and decided that my exercise regimen was not as robust as I would like. I had slacked off a bit over the years so I made a plan. I started walking daily, taking my vitamins and supplements diligently, and drinking 64 ounces of fluid every day. On one of my morning walks, I was thinking to myself how fortunate I was that I was doing all the right things and feeling so great ( translation= Wow, I am SO VERY PROUD of myself!! ) Then, the very next day I was hit with fever, chills, a horrible cough with congestion and was quickly confined to bed. It turns out that I had contracted a virus, that while not influenza, was exactly like it in every way. It took over a week to regain some semblance of normalcy in my life. So many times during that illness I literally had to laugh at myself and the timing of what happened. I had reached a point where I was beginning to brag about how great everything was, knowing that I was really laying the praise on my own shoulders and nowhere else. All the good stuff was due to my efforts and my plans, or so I wanted to think.
Man’s Desire for Credit
I know that we all are guilty of sometimes being a bit too proud of what we have accomplished, crowing a tad too much, and taking all the credit when things are going great. In those times, we should stop and reflect about our need to put ourselves at the center of our universe. We know that the only one who can rightfully claim that place is God. We’re fortunate that He truly occupies that space because when “the wheels come off the bus,” we’re always so very thankful to know that He is there and that He is the one in charge of life. “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13.
God as Team Leader
Now, this brings me to a point where I must say that I fall in the camp of those who do not think that God sits around, looking for ways to challenge us and bring us down, just so we can learn the lessons of life. I think that when God created the world and left us in charge of it, He quickly discovered that we could quite easily and adeptly make enough messes of our own from which we would need saving. That fact, coupled with nature taking its course, has provided us with plenty of ways for us to get into trouble. God knows about our pride and our egotistical ways, but He’s always there just waiting on us to realize that we can’t handle everything on our own. As life knocks us down, we come to the realization, once again, that we need Him. We need Him for the big things, the small things, and the in-between things. I think that God knew we could team up with Him quite well, as long as we keep remembering that He is the team leader, not us. When we can live our lives, allowing God’s plan to be the one we follow, we soon discover that life can truly be great. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6.