Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Filey Parish: Blogging For Lent- 'But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made'- Luke 10:40

I spend a lot of time preparing. In fact I often think there could be something a little bit wrong with the way the old grey matter is wired up, because I often spend far longer preparing for things than the things themselves actually last for. So I can quite easily spend two hours preparing for an event which itself may only take a few minutes from beginning to end. I suppose this may come from a fear that unless I prepare things to the nth degree, they are almost certainly going to go wrong. This, in turn, comes from 20 years working as an engineer, where I was expected to get things right first time or else suffer the embarrassment of knowing that I was responsible for time and money being wasted. It’s hard to get out of that habitual way of thinking, so I still tend to over-prepare.
It doesn’t work! Things still go wrong with a frequency that makes the Apollo 13 crisis seem like a walk in the park. There are always things you cannot anticipate, things that seem to conspire against you and people who don’t react the way you expect them to. No amount of preparation will cover every possible scenario you might encounter. It’s like trying to plan your life out in every detail before you go out and live it, and it can become debilitating.
God cannot want us to live like this. Yes, he wants us to use our common sense to reasonably prepare for things, otherwise he wouldn't have made us with brains capable of reasoning to a high degree. But there is only so much we can plan for ourselves in such a complex and often chaotic world. However hard it is to make sense of God's plan for our lives, especially at times when things seem so messy, we have to acknowledge that His plan is the only one it makes sense to follow.

It is good to know that when things go wrong in spite of all our efforts, God does not judge us the way that people often do. He doesn’t stand over us with a lightning bolt in-hand, waiting for us to mess-up.
I am learning to recognise that His opinion of me is the only one that really matters.


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