Dealing with our own plans sometimes goes awry


Our own plans can go awry so quickly, so easily!

I carefully reserve Tuesday mornings to write my column – have done so for many years. So if plans for the week are going to interfere with my routine, I rearrange my plans. When a mission trip or vacation trip looms on the horizon, I must count ahead for the week I am leaving and how many days I will be gone, then figure that into my due-date schedule, write the columns, and get them sent.

But if something happens unexpectedly, that’s another story. I have to get that column written and sent in immediately. There go my plans, right out the window. Still, it usually works.

I’m well into my 28th year of writing this column and I remember only once jarring my thinking around 1 p.m. with the horrifying thought, “This is Tuesday and I haven’t written my column!” I hurried home, called the newspaper, and begged for a little more time. That was graciously given. Still, that had totally disrupted my usual routine and I hastily sat down to write.

One of the things I found difficult to deal with during the mandatory stay-at-home order was a way to keep track of the day of the week. Oh, I could determine it but to just know it was Sunday or Thursday or whatever day has been hard. How could I set Sunday aside as a special day for worship time and thoughtful, Christian living when I couldn’t even attend services? Why? Churches have been closed.

Now churches are beginning to open but everything is different! Social distancing must be factored in; number of people attending must be limited. No touching! At my church, at least, wearing a mask is optional but many are choosing to wear it.

Maybe, even at my age, I’m very naive, but when I first heard of coronavirus back in February (or was it January?), I had no idea this horrible epidemic that was engulfing China would spread worldwide. That it would become so massive as to be pandemic rather than just epidemic. I heard of one day when China alone lost 3,000 people and thought, “How awful!” but still had no idea it would spread the way it did – the scope and the speed of it. Even to seeing the day our own country’s death toll would exceed that.

We watched it unfold – from cruise ships docking but not being allowed to disembark to the many stuck in foreign lands awaiting permission for their flights to go home. From that vantage point, I did not see the massive unemployment that would come. Then, just when we think our world is getting on track and we see progress toward reaching our life goals, a massive change occurs.

My friend was in that group. Had just bought a house, went out with friends for dinner, and had every intention of starting the packing process maybe even as early as the next day after work. But she never saw that time here on earth. In the night, God called her home.

She answered His call because she had known Jesus as her Savior for many years. God’s plans took precedence over her own. I know, as she basks in His Sonlight, she has no regrets. But how about you? Do you know Jesus?