Plan…to be surprised

“I want to talk to you about the subject of plans… life plans and how we all make them, and how we hope that our kids make good, smart, safe plans of their own. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, most of our plans don’t work out as we’d hoped. So instead of asking our young people, ‘What are your plans? What do you plan to do with your life?’, maybe we should tell them this: Plan… to be surprised.” –Dan in Real Life

So this quote is from one of my favorite movies.  I make plans all the time, and in one sense that is ok and totally normal. If I don’t take the time to pray, discern and plan things, then my life wouldn’t move forward in a fruitful way.

What I like about this quote is that it reminds me that in the midst of all my planning, I shouldn’t forget that it’s likely that my plans will not turn out exactly the way I envision them.

After living in Haiti for almost 6 months now, I am more keenly aware of how when my plans start taking a u-turn I didn’t see coming, my first reaction is to…mildly freak out. I start wondering if I made a major mistake, if I am even capable of discernment or if I have just been wasting time because obviously things aren’t going according to plan…or are they? They might not be going according to my pretty-packaged-precise plan, BUT does my plan really take precedence? Does my plan surpass the story the Author of life is capable of writing? Well, when you put it that way – no.

I know that his ways are above mine (Isaiah 55:8-9) and his plans for me far outweigh the goodness I could ever conjure up myself (Jeremiah 29:11).

I want to live in His freedom, trusting that he wants me to participate in His creative work, and trusting that as the main Artist, He is more than able to guide the strokes of my little paintbrush.

About a week ago, Loucie & Taina came over to the base. I wanted to include them in making a sign for our youth hang out spot. I really had a strong desire to have them participate and be invested in this, because I want them to feel like they are part of a family of faith. They made the sign pretty much by themselves. I just gave them some pointers. When Taina started mixing all the colors together with a little too much water I helped her out so it didn’t turn out like a puddle of brown water :) And in the end, the sign turned out awesome. I absolutely loved seeing them put all their effort and creativity into the art project. I loved encouraging them. I loved seeing their joy as they participated in this project with me. I loved seeing their creativity gush forth by just opening the door through a small invitation.

So I figure, if working with Loucie & Taina brought me so much joy, if having them participate with me in this creative work, how much more does the Lord delight in having us participate in His creative work – the story of our lives? Loucie & Taina trusted me when I gave them tips, they didn’t rebel and stick to a strict plan they envisioned. It was a collaborative work – and it was good.

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