Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We Plan and God Laughs

I have many beliefs.

I believe people are innately good, but tarnished by life experiences and bad influence.
I belive a puppy's head in your lap can cure any and all bad moods.
And I believe we are all here to fulfill a purpose in this life.

But I also believe that each and every one of us are living a life that has already been planned for us. I believe our daily actions are merely us executing the life we were meant to lead even when we think we actually make decisions that might alter the plan. More simply, I believe in God and that He has already written the course for our lives.

I think one of the most complicated problems we all face is battling the journey to "find our purpose in life." Especially in these days, we all seem to want to find careers that make a difference; that help people other than ourselves and bring meaning to our communities and our own lives. That's why books such as The Purpose Driven Life or The Secret have been so popular to readers worldwide. They aim to help us find our purpose, our plan, or I suppose, our destiny.

My thoughts on this have been revived by the recent stresses in my life about job searching and deciding where it is exactly I should be. Both JJ and I have been used to success all our lives. We were always well liked among our peers, always made the team, and consistently made good grades in school (well, I'll speak for myself). Failure has, fortunately, not coming easy to us and we've enjoyed great benefits throughout our 20 some years from our successes. We're not used to hearing NO or falling in the middle of the pack. We've always known what it feels like to be on the top, and I credit that enjoyment to God's plan.

But as we get older we're sure to face bigger and scarier challenges than simply making the high school team or bringing home the report card full of A's. And we're currently facing one we can't quite conquer with a smile and a little elbow grease. We're job searching. We're soul searching. And we're trying to figure out exactly what it is we should be doing with our lives and careers. It's been difficult to find clarity in finding the right plan for both of us, so we've been consumed lately with making the best decisions for our professional and personal lives.

The more I stress about it and worry about both myself and him, however, the more I hear a voice in my head telling me that what will be has already been decided.

I don't think it's my privilege to choose my course. I firmly believe it's already been chosen for me. Each of our life plans have been chosen for us, by God, who knew exactly what purpose we would serve before we were born. So when I don't get that job I'm sure I can get, or my 'purpose' seems meaningless in my current role, I'm comforted by my beliefs each day that I am living the life I was meant to lead; because God put me here, in this exact moment, for a reason.

So plan we will, because that's what we do. We obsess over the "What's Next" thoughts and the ever overwhelming terror of making life changes. Half of life's lessons, I believe, are taught through the processes of deciding. Where to move? What job to take? Whom to befriend? What school to attend? We call it fate or destiny most often that things work out as they do, but when the time comes to make a decision and you get that "gut-feeling" that your choice is the right one, I believe that's God's nudge guiding us in the right direction. At the end of the day, be confident that your decisions have actually already been decided for you and that the process and agony of deciding can actually be softened by a simple moment of reflection and quiet prayer for patience.

So, the next time your perfect plan falls through the tiniest of cracks...just pause for a moment and listen to God laughing. His plan is sure to unfold soon enough if you're patient enough to wait for it.

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