Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Need a Plan


Merseyside on a road mapImage by Scorpions and Centaurs via Flickr

It was a desperate cry from one of the elderly women in the church services we do at a local nursing home. She was referring to the order of service for the day which also has the words to the hymns on it. She had not yet received one and we were ready to sing. What profound truth issued so adamantly from Mrs. Morris. We all are in need of a plan.

Currently, I am in the process of making vacation plans for us later this spring. There are so many plans that must be made prior to a 23 hour car ride to a city one has never been to before. . .hotel reservations, rental car reservations, ideas of where to eat, tickets to different venues, and driving directions. The details seem to go on and on.

The same is true for our very lives, and we think we are in control of those plans. Perhaps we think we made the plan of where to go to school, or whom we should marry, or what profession we should pursue. The Scriptures, however, tell us something different:

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in His way. " Psalms 37:23

The Lord has a way of directing and leading His children. As I look backward at the path my life has taken, I can see so many times that the Lord has nudged me, led me, and sometimes, yes, even pushed me into the path He wanted me to go. Often at the time it didn't seem like the working of the Lord. Sometimes it felt like the whole world was against me, but now I can see clearly His hand moving to put me exactly where He knew I needed to be, but I was too stubborn or too blind to see.

The greatest example of this was when I "decided" to go to nursing school.

Never in my life had I wanted to be a nurse. I had planned to go to college away from home, first to pursue Journalism. A well-meaning family member discouraged me from this so I decided to become a teacher. About a month before I was to move away, again I changed my mind and decided to stay home instead.

Now in my hometown were three colleges with perfectly good programs for studying Education. However, instead of enrolling in one of them, I just pronounced, "I guess I'll go to nursing school." Where did THAT come from? I believe with all my heart that it came from the Lord.

To understand just how dramatic this declaration of mine truly was, you must know in high school I never took Chemistry. I never even took a real Algebra class. (Why would a journalist need Chemistry or Algebra was my thought.)

So here I was, in the middle of the summer, having to find a Chemistry class so I could get into the nursing program. It wasn't offered in Summer School --there were no Chemistry teachers available that summer. It wasn't offered at Night School -- there weren't enough students interested to offer the class. Which meant I had to take a college Chemistry course. The professor handed out a pre-test the first day of class that was mainly algebra problems. I didn't even understand the questions, much less have an idea of how to get to the answers! Only the Lord managed to get me through that class!

That first year of college, taking most of my college classes before entering the nursing program and my clinical studies, was truly a design from the Lord. Little was I to know that by my second year of college I would have met the man I was to end up marrying. I was so wildly in love that I could never have been able to keep my mind on all those classes AND nursing classes as well as the love of my life.

Time and time again, I can look back at my life and see the Lord working. Sometimes the path has gone through the dark of the forest, but still it was His path and His hand that led me. Sometimes the path led through the bright sunshine of day with the clear blue sky. Again, His path and His hand.

Throughout it all I have learned that whether I understand the turn in the path or not, I can completely trust the Architect of the Road. As the Scriptures tell us, "His way is perfect." So as one company encourages us to do, I will "leave the driving" to Him.

"In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths". Proverbs 3:6

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