We like to have our day mapped out. We have our lists of jobs to get done. We have timetables detailing when we have to be where. Even our time out is carefully mapped out, so we don’t waste more precious minutes than we need to. And when our plans get frustrated or something takes longer than expected, we can get so frustrated. Why Lord, we ask, is it all going wrong? How will I be able to get anything done?
But perhaps there’s another question that needs to be asked. What if God wants to rip up timetable for the day? Do we actually believe God is in control of events and there might be a reason for the hiccup in our schedule?
I spent a long time today looking for a pot of natural yoghurt. In the end, I went back to the original shop and bought something else instead. I would much rather have been home by then – it was my day off, after all. But in the shop I met a former church member who doesn’t even live in Plymouth any more. It was good to have a chat and we were pleased to see each other. Of course if I had found what I was looking for in the first place, then this conversation wouldn’t have happened.
It’s not the first time I have found God at work in the minor irritations of the day. But I guess that for all those times when something has worked out in spite of my plans, I still feel I want to be in control of my day. Being open to the Holy Spirit and trusting the Lord to lead and direct me, even at cost to myself, is something I think most people struggle with on a practical, everyday level. Maybe this Lent it’s worth looking again at how deeply I really commit my plans to the Lord each day. There is, after all, all the difference in the world between making plans and then asking Him to bless them, and prayerfully making plans, and asking humbly for wisdom to guide me through the day. And in that I believe there is a real lesson for us all.