Sunday, October 29, 2006

“My Plans” vs “The Way Things Work Out” (Or what God had in mind all along)

Honestly, do you ever wonder why you bother making any plans at all? Not too long ago our local paper carried a commentary piece on how southerners view God. There were four narrowly defined choices:

God as an authoritarian – God is highly involved in daily lives and world affairs. God is angry, acts in wrathful ways and punishes the unfaithful or ungodly.

God as benevolent – God is very active in our daily lives but is not angry or vengeful. God is a force of positive influence in the world.

God as critical – God does not interact with the world but observes it and views its current state unfavorably. Devine justice may not be of this world.

God as distant – God is not active in the world and is not angry. God set the laws of nature in motion but does not hold opinions about world events.

Now, I am no theologian, and I am not here to debate the merits or demerits of these view points. I am just here to share my view of God and how He chooses to involved Himself in my life.

God as the parent – of a perennial two-year-old. I’m sure there are mornings when God gets up on some mornings He thinks, “Please, please MitMoi… stop with the endless questions.” “Stop with the never ending demands for my attention.” Followed by Him saying “Will you listen to me?” “Did I tell you to do that?” “Why are you doing that?” “Stop doing that NOW! BECAUSE I SAID SO!”. (Can you tell? I’m not a very good listener.)

God as a the “frequent prayer/seeker” reward center – or the “This is going to hurt you more than me” disciplinarian. I think He mets out justice here on earth. I believe God’s justice is divine – and perhaps just a little skewed. I came to subscribe to this belief after listening to my friend Heather talk about God. She says God always gives her “just what I asked for, but with a twist.” After close examination of my own life, I see the same principle at work. I told God I wanted a job that involved travel. Unfortunately I forgot to tell him I wanted “glamorous” business travel to large cities with good food. Instead I travel to small rural towns – where their desirability is determined by these three factors (I kid you not):

1. There is a Super Wal-Mart within the confines of the county limits. (Please notice I said county and not city.)

2. Someone in town can afford a Days Inn franchise – so I have a place to sleep.

3. They have a Sonic Drive-In – so there’s really a place to have Sunday breakfast or dinner.

God as a critic – and what He says isn’t always that flattering. Every once and a while I forget “God knows everything” and think instead “I” know everything. He is quick to correct me. Frequently He places people in my life to “bring home” His point. Sometimes I ignore His attempts to discretely let me know I don’t know what I’m doing – or not doing things “His” way. During these episodes he lets me fall flat on my face. Like the time I was the Liturgist at church and told the senior pastor I didn’t need any prompting from him. I knew exactly what I was doing! …. Because really, who needs to have a congregational prayer, sing the Doxology AFTER tithing, or announce the hymns in the order the choir has rehearsed them or the order they’re listed in the bulletin?

God is intimate in my life – Whether He wants to be or not! Much like a kid who drags along their “blankie” on every excursion, no matter if it’s appropriate for the blankie to be in attendance or not. I drag Him into just about everything. I’m sure many times He wishes He were “Distant God … or “Hiding under the rock God” … but no such luck.

Further more, I think I’m a source of continuing amusement to God. In fact, I think he takes great delight in watching me make plans … only to rearrange them. Today is a perfect example.

Since it’s that whole “Spring Forward/Fall Back” thing this weekend I thought I’d go to bed early – and sleep late. God thought “Ha!” Instead I was up to midnight (very, very late for Moi) and woke up at 4:45 am.

I thought I’d get up, read the paper, eat breakfast, go to church, bribe someone at church with dinner so they’d come and remove the leaves from my roof and do some writing today.

God thought I should forget that it was the 5th Sunday (which means there’s only one service … at 11 o’clock). So after I madly dashed to get ready for 9 o’clock contemporary church (because I was chatting on line and just had to keep adding “one more little thing” to the conversation) – I drove to the church (less than a mile from my house) like a bat out of hell … only to discover a completely empty parking lot. (See referral above to 5th Sunday Services.)

Because it was 5th Sunday, the people I planned to bribe with food to sweep the leaves off my roof, (Plan C) weren’t in attendance. So now I have to come up with Plan D. This of course means that MY “Plan A” – Hint to a group of friends from church that it would be nice to have some help with the leaves, didn’t work. Nor did my “Plan B” – Pay to have a handyman come blow the damn things off my roof, seem to fit into the handyman’s plans. So now I’m going to do what God probably wanted me to do along … PRAY to him for a solution … (see, he just ASKS to be drug into things!)

After church I planned to run some errands. God’s plan was different. He obviously was very keen on me finishing up the last of a 4 part Sunday school curriculum. I’m sure that’s why He made my tire flat while I was in church. That way I’d have to sit here captive until the nice AAA boy showed up to change my spare tire. (Because it must also be part of God’s wacky cosmic plan that I have no upper body strength, so I cannot loosen the lug nuts on my tires.)

So now, I plan on …just sitting here for the rest of the day … cause I’m pretty sure whatever it is “I” want to do today isn’t what’s going to happen.

1 comment:

lee715 said...

I think not only do you make God laugh, you make him smile.