It is funny how inspiration comes isn't it? I had an issue with my computer last night and I had part saved an article I was about to turn in. For the first time I was ahead of deadline. I had written a plan and got part way through writing. I made some nice points and was about to ground it in some biblical truth.
Then a gremlin attacked my computer leaving me scratching my head. I thank God for a friend of mine who happens to be amazing at computers. You know the kind—where you blurt out the computer's incoherent babble and your friend actually says, "Yes, what the computer is saying is... and here's how you fix it..." My response is always, "why didn't the computer just say that in the first place!?"
My friend helped me navigate black screen after black screen until I restarted my laptop. A magical window appeared and all but one of my files was still there—yes, my article was gone!
I spent the first few minutes of this evening trying to find it, kicking myself for not saving it somewhere. I should have put it on a pen drive, printed it off, eaten it or something! I did none of these things. I had not planned effectively and it came back to bite me.
Then I had a God moment: in life we wonder why things don't turn out the way we want when we haven't saved down, copied or planned.
It felt like God was going "Duh"!
We live life in a planned, target-driven, results-focused fashion. We tend to analyse everything by numbers and words or feelings even. We struggle to articulate ourselves in the unknown. We like to be planned and organised at every point.
There is definitely a need for this. Planning is essential for our lives. It is a good thing; thinking ahead about what might be and how to either anticipate or mitigate is really good.
But when the unexpected happens, in our struggle or lack of cohesion, God can step in and produce something really beautiful.
We can think God does not have a plan for our lives. Because what we experience does not feel, look or smell like a plan. We can be moving further and further away from the target.
However, I have come to realise nothing God puts you through or allows you to experience is without purpose or plan. Our lives are too short! God wants us to be mature, experienced and wise; able to draw strength and wisdom from our circumstances in order to disciple others and press on to win the ultimate prize.
Intended for good
One example my pastor shared is fascinating. The Bible tells the story of Joseph, a man who was set up by his brothers, sold into slavery, accused of adultery and tossed in jail.
God showed him he would one day be a ruler. But as his situation got worse, and Joseph sat in prison, he probably wondered how it was part of God's plan! My pastor referred to it like this—Joseph was not going through a "set back" but a "set up". What looked bad God intended for Joseph's good. This spoke deeply to me.
I am not going to lie. I've made in life where I have thought: what was all that about? Where were you, God? What was I thinking? During these times I've told myself I should have planned better, set goals, worked harder, thought through things more, written a list or drawn a process map.
God is enough
I am finally, finally at peace with my past. There were some decisions I could have made differently and perhaps life may have turned out more like I feel it "should" have.
An alternative path might have been more attractive at the time. But in my narrow, bumpy and, at times lonely, road I have discovered God is more than enough to get me through.
God has carried me, and in the process said to me: "You can do it. Just place your foot here, go here, I am right in front of you; loving you all the way through this".
I alternate between toddling and striding into my future. But whether the road in front is clear or unplanned, I call on myself to relax and remember that God is enough.
Rosie Robinson resides in Manchester where, in between feeding herself coffee and bagels she works for an international financial services organisation. She attends a lively church called Audacious, enjoys reading, running and watching films and am slowly discovering life with Jesus.
Rosie Robinson's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rosie-robinson.html