I often want to plan my life. I want certain
things to happen, so I do all I can to make them
happen. I study certain things, I apply for certain
jobs, I make tons of plans, all for the sake of trying to
make sure that my life turns out the way that I'm pretty
sure it should turn out. I must not be very good at
it, though, because life pretty much never turns out the
ways that I've envisioned it turning out.
Interestingly enough, it always seems to turn out in just
the right way, though it rarely is the way that I've
We definitely grow up believing the myth that we're in
control of our lives. As far as that myth is
concerned, we do have a great deal of opportunity and
ability to influence our lives, but control?
Hardly. Life takes its own courses, and life and
God--whatever you perceive God to be--have plans for us
that are far beyond what we could imagine for
ourselves. For this reason, it's important to heed
Joseph's statement: We must be willing to accept and
live a life that isn't necessarily what we've been
planning for or hoping for all along.
Several years ago, my wife and I bought a house because we
planned to live in a certain place for a long while.
Very soon thereafter, I was laid off. Within a short
period of time, the house was gone and we were moving off
to a new home. There was nothing we could do about
it, and as much as it hurt, it still wasn't a
tragedy--losing the life we had planned opened up many
doors that would have stayed closed to us otherwise, and
we've experienced tons of things since then that we never
would have experienced had life not forced us to give up
the life we had planned.
Life knows what's best. And if we really want to
grow and learn, then it's important that we pay attention
so that we can recognize when it's time for us to let go
of the old and attempt the new--when it's time for life to
reveal a new direction for us, one that will be new and
stimulating and important to us.