Many of us are definite planners.
We might begin the New Year with a calendar in hand, marking specific dates we don’t want to forget. Maybe there are birthdays or anniversaries we don’t want to forget. Special upcoming events or vacations that we have set aside to enjoy.
Before long, we realize our calendars are becoming full, yet we move forward to ensure our goals are achieved. Of course, as all of us know, there will always be things that pop up at the last minute that either challenge us to change our plans or else eliminate them all together.
Such was the case for me back in 1994. The year before, a group of 25 church members traveled to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, for a week long mission trip.
Plans were worked on for a year: making reservations for lodging, paying for the purchase of airfare, gathering items to take, (they don’t have a Dollar General or Walmart to run to in case you need something; you take it with you!), printing materials to share with local residents, schedules for events, packing musical and sound equipment to ship, making certain everyone had their passports, and the list went on and on. But everything was done, the trip was made, the mission was a success, even with a few hiccups, lives were changed, and another trip was planned for the next summer.
I was excited about my second trip. My ticket was purchased, my reservations made, and I was deciding on what to take. A couple of weeks before time to go, I felt in my spirit that I needed to stay home. I decided to give my ticket to another woman who wanted to go, watched as all the last minute preparations were made, and wished them well.
Less than three days after the team had left, my husband ended up being airlifted to a hospital in St. Louis, undergoing back surgery. Had I gone, he would have been home alone and who knows what could have happened.
Everyday each of us is confronted with decisions. It may be a small change we make or one that is brought about by bigger circumstances. At the moment, we may not like having to "change our plans" or even understand why we must make a change, but life is full of curve balls and unexpected situations. What matters most is how we decide to handle those times of our lives.
If we are attentive to God’s leading, we will make the right decisions and end up being where we need to be at the exact time we need to be there. A change of plans is not always a bad thing. Listen to His spirit and you will be blessed.