The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go awry, according to Scottish poet Robert Burns. We prove the truth of this statement on a daily basis. We make a detailed agenda for the day, or elaborate plans for an evening or weekend. We’re sure we’ve covered every contingency, thought of every angle. And then suddenly, seemingly from out of nowhere, comes an unexpected complication – and our plans are suddenly worthless.
What is this? Why do our best-laid plans fall apart unexpectedly? Is it that there’s a malevolent force in the universe out to get us?
No. There is only the Presence and Power of God in the universe. Our own ignorance of that Power at work, or our reluctance to trust its workings, is the source of all the confusion.
Our fearful, ignorance-based thoughts are what compel us to attempt a sense of control over people, places and things in our lives. The Presence of God within us is relaxed, centered, open to the unexpected joys of spiritual grace expressing in wonderful ways. How often has the apparent setback to our careful plans actually led us to greater joy than our own plans could have provided!
It is good to plan a day – or a life. But it’s also essential to leave room for surprises, for God’s grace to breathe and flow and surprise and delight us.
My plans for this day are loose and free, open always to the fresh and unexpected appearance of God as grace. Thank you, God!