The Best Laid Plans

Written by Sister Ruth Gehly on Thursday, August 15, 2019. Posted in Devotional

The Best Laid Plans

Many years ago, the university where I work unveiled a master plan for the physical development of our campus. With proper planning and financing, renovations and changes have been methodically rolled out in order to define the fingerprint of our urban campus, improve the student academic and residential experience, and meet the ongoing needs of our workforce. Amidst all the change, my department has remained located in a very old building with the understanding that there would be a move at some future date.

Fast forward to May 2019, well past the “future date” we had hoped for. My coworkers and I were suddenly evacuated from our rapidly aging building because of unexpected issues. Grabbing our personal belongings, we quickly vacated the premises and were temporarily relocated until resolution could be made.

After many weeks, though, it was determined that returning to our old building was no longer an option; however, a permanent location had yet to be identified. In preparation for relocation, whenever and wherever that was to be, we were given one full day to pack up our original offices, separating the useful and relevant from what should be retained and stored and purging and shredding anything unnecessary — a daunting task that had been put off and was long overdue. (What a job!)

Finally, as of the writing of this blog, a permanent location has been identified, and there is light at the end of this crazy turn of events. However, the space does not become accessible until December, which means a move in the middle of winter. (Oh my!) It also means that we will spend the next six months in a basement. (Oh my goodness!) None of this was in accordance with the original master plan, and I don’t think anyone would argue with me saying that this is certainly not what we imagined our change would be like.

Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men!

No matter how carefully a project is planned, there is always a chance that the details may change, go wrong, or even become completely derailed due to unforeseen circumstances. In particular, this turn of events has been quite a trial for those of us it has impacted. There have been days when it has been easy to be flexible and to go with the flow. There have been other days when it has been difficult and exhausting to face the mountain of work — as well as the myriad of changes and unknowns.

My personal journey through this trial has been a good reminder that there is one master plan that is sovereign and unchanging: God’s Master Plan.

It is a plan designed and built to unfold based on absolutes. Its truth is unchanging and remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. There is nothing temporary about it. It is light, and within it darkness cannot exist. It is redeeming love. It is salvation. It is complete forgiveness. It is a calling to sanctification, to cleansing, to growth, and to good stewardship.

The plan is so much bigger than me, yet it is an integral part of my life and lives deep within my heart. It is not mine to control, yet it is within my will and ability to allow it to mold, shape, and define who I am and who I have yet to become. It is a kingdom that will restore a chosen people and bring all things back to their rightful place before a mighty God, the master creator of all things.

So, when best laid plans don’t roll out exactly as envisioned and circumstances bring change (even chaos) that leads to unexpected (even unwanted) places, let us not forget to look up and to be encouraged. In His plan, we stand on solid ground. In His plan, we have an anchor. His light gives perfect direction. His plan will bring an expected end.

"For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." (Jeremiah 29:11)

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