Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Man Plans, God Laughs

My dearest battle buddy began one day by asking "Where do you hope to be, five years from now?"

I'm sure I made some simple, probably sarcastic comment (sorry).  It got me thinking, though, about the future and what it might hold for me, and for my family.

I'll admit it, I'm a "Five Year Plan" failure.  I have made these plans two or three times in my life, and never have they worked out as I'd envisioned.  In fact, very little about those plans has actually come true.

The first time I made one, it was my senior year of high school and we were given the assignment amid daydreams of Prom and the scattered letters of acceptance (or rejection) from various colleges.  I knew what I wanted to do.

I'd be a recent graduate of the University of Arizona (nope).

I'd have moved from Tucson (this did happen).

I'd be a stringer for some newspaper or magazine or anything in the print media, well on my way to being the print version of Barbara Walters. It's not that I liked her super-much, but she had a unique way of bringing out people's personalities and I loved doing feature stories about people. (The closest I've come to working as a journalist was selling subscriptions to the Manhattan Mercury late at night, but I do still like to write.)

Well, life has a way of changing one's plans.  I didn't care for the way journalism was changing, even in my first semesters at the UofA.  And then My G came back from Basic Training and I could feel the stars realigning.

When Big G was nearly 7 years old, and I was finishing up my last semester at KState, they asked us to again write out our five year plan.   A little more skeptical, but excited because I was the first in my family to graduate college, I complied.

I'd be working in a community service agency, and next in line for the Directorship (nope).

I'd have my Masters' Degree, or be very close to completing it (not that either).

I didn't know where I'd be, but My G and I would still be strong and facing that future together.  (Well, yes, that was and continues to be the truth.)

So I'm a little dubious about jotting down a few lines regarding any kind of future plans.  There is a quote, though, that says something along the lines of "He who fails to plan, plans to fail."   So I'll play along.

* In five years, we will be in another state.  The house will be sold and we will be learning about a new area.

* In five years, Little G will be driving.  We will be regulars in the antacid aisle of our local pharmacy.

* In five years, Big G will be independent.  Graduated or not, she will have made, and possibly changed, her own five year plan and be truly on her way.  I put this in the plan because I know she, too, wants this.

* In five years, I will have begun, if not finished, that dratted Masters' Degree.

* In five years, Big G will have finally grabbed that retirement brass ring he has so earned, and we will have begun that new adventure.

I could write things about the amount we'd like to have in savings or the job I'd like to have or where we'd like to be.  But I've learned that this kind of planning can sometimes invite God to laugh, and laugh...   And keep laughing.   In fact, the retirement one may cause Him tremendous mirth, but I hope not and dare to write it anyway.

Mentsch tracht, Gott lacht.  Man plans, God laughs.   And maybe that's the whole point. We sometimes learn best by changing and adapting.  The most amazing things occur when we give in and simply follow.

Sometimes, we can even laugh along with Him.

Ready, Get Set...  GO.

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