I like to plan things out, every detail. I like to make lists–sometimes adding things after I do them, to just mark them off. I have cleaning and maintenance rotations. I want everything planned out in detail, but I’m learning that life doesn’t work that way. The best laid plans can crumble in an instant.
My focus on the details can make it hard for me to dream or keep hold of hope at times. A big part of dreaming is to imagine anything and everything you would like to be, do, or have–to not worry about how it is going to happen, but just dream. I can get pretty clear on what I would like, but then the ‘how’ creeps in. I start planning the details and strange enough that is what leads to despair. You see, I once again start planning exactly how everything is going to work out. And when things don’t go according to my plan, I lose hope, because I’m not open to any other solutions.
For example, one of my dreams was to have a piano. We had a small electric keyboard that was confusing to my 6 year old who was taking piano lessons. My oldest son longed for something better to play on and to accompany his singing. I had found some nice ones at yard sales or listed online in Buy-Sell-Trade groups, so I planned out how much money I would need to save to buy a used one.
One day when talking to a friend about how much I wanted a piano, I totally pushed aside her offer when she mentioned that she had one she was storing for someone that we could possibly use.
It wasn’t until the next day when I was praying and pondering on how to come up with the extra money for a piano that it hit me what I had done. I had turned down the provided solution because it didn’t fit with how I planned it. I quickly went back to my friend and asked her if it was still a possibility. Luckily, the offer was still open and we now have a full sized piano for the whole family to enjoy.
But do you see what I was doing? I was praying for the money to buy the piano. The money was the ‘how’. I was praying for my solution to happen. And God was saying, I know of a better way. But if I hadn’t listened, I would still be scrambling around trying to calculate how I could buy a piano.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
There is another bible verse that says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to me and I’m sure it’s not the last. I’m slowly learning that God has my best interests in mind and that he can arrange things to happen in much better ways than I ever thought possible. I’m doing my best to let go of controlling the details and being open to the solutions that come.
I encourage you to look at your life and let go of the ‘how’ of planning every detail and be open to the miraculous solutions that only the universe knows–the solutions that aren’t on your list, and are much greater than anything you could plan.