We’ve talked about this a bit before–about God’s plan for each of us and the improbability of our understanding of it–until it’s staring us in the face, anyway. Lately I’ve been clinging to two different passages. Ephesians 2:10 and James 4:13-17.
Ephesians 2:10 tells me God has a plan for my life, a plan that was set into motion before I was even born. A plan He Himself will bring to fruition. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
James 4:13-17 reminds me to move forward with my eyes wide open, ever ready to turn at the drop of a hat when God changes my direction. “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”
So much of my life has hit me by surprise. In a good way. At age twenty I was convinced I was never going to get married. At age twenty-two, I pledged my love and commitment to my soul mate. Ten years ago, I didn’t give Kansas City, MO a passing thought. Today I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. (Unless God changes our plans.) And most of the opportunities that have come my way have been a complete surprise.
This morning I received an invitation to join a worldwide ministry and as I read the email, I thought back on all those “surprises” that have occurred throughout my life. And suddenly, they all fit. That VBS I wrote for that small church in New Braunfels taught me about curriculum development and skit production. The dramas I wrote for Community Baptist in California showed me the effectiveness of drama. My time with ACFW has shown me God’s big picture plan with Christian media. The invitation to join Reflections showed me I can write on assignment and the invitation to join Clash of the Titles showed me how much I love getting to know other authors. And again, all of these opportunities were surprises–wonderful, perfect surprises.
So what am I trying to say here? Don’t get so caught up in “your passion” that you miss out on God’s design. And pray long and hard before turning down those surprise opportunities that come your way. See them as bread crumbs sprinkled along the path as God leads you to His ultimate plan. And always, always be ready to make that hard right the minute God presents a detour.
I love this song and the constant, eyes-wide-open, fluidity it represents:
Where You Go by Chris Tomlin
Spend a moment meditating on these words:
All Your ways are good. All Your ways are sure. Light unto the world, light unto my life. I will live for You alone.
Our pastor in California used to say, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
Let go of the reigns. Toss out the road map. Let God lead you by the hand, step by step.