calendarI hope you had a wonderful Easter brunch or dinner with your family yesterday. For me, I ate hospital cafeteria food.

This was not quite in the plan.

No, the plan was that I was hosting Easter dinner for my extended family. Instead, I was reminded that my plan has nothing to do with THE plan.

Throughout my life, as I trust it is with you, too, I have experiences that remind me that I am not in control. And since I am a teensy bit of a control freak, that is a tough one to admit.

For me, I believe God is in control, yet he lets free will exist. My take on it (simpleton that I am, and no, I’m not looking for any theological debate, I’m just sharing my point of view, so don’t get your knickers in a knot and just see what I have to say) is that God is not interested in a bunch of robotic forms following him, but rather people who could choose to have faith in him. Or not. So we have lots of choices. And those choices result in an intricate tapestry of effects. And like getting cancer from secondhand smoke, the effects don’t have to be a direct result of a choice someone has made. That muddies the water of simplicity a bit, doesn’t it? Bad things happen to good people and vice versa.

And no matter how much I plan, life interferes. Time and again, I am reminded that the world doesn’t spin according to my desires.

This past week was just such a reminder.

While my plan for the week had been to see to it that my kid had some fun on Spring Break while I managed to get work done as well as prepare for a family Easter celebration at our home, the reality was that my mom became quite ill and needed to be hospitalized…where she is still and where she will be for a while, and where I’m writing this post as I keep her company while she rests.

This was not cleared with us before it was implemented. There was no meeting to consult and decide what worked with our calendars. Nope. Just whammo. No one checked with my mom to see if this was a good time to have the rug pulled out from under her. Or me or my sister. Or anyone else who was directly affected by the turn of events.

My Easter plan was tossed on its head, and I relearned for the umpteen millionth time that I can plan to my little heart’s content, but…hello…it may or may not be a part of THE plan.

Even more important, this is yet another experience that reinforces that what really matters isn’t that which I spend too much of my time consumed with. What really matters is that when we go through tough and challenging situations, there are those who love us (including the One in control) who help us get through it. And for that, I am grateful.

I will always be a planner, but when it all falls apart, I thank God that I have people in my life who help me pick up the pieces. And that, I’m pretty sure, is quite the plan after all.

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