Nothing's according to plan
One thing I can say for sure, my life has not gone according to plan!
Now, I admit, I’m not much of a planner. I’ve always had an allergy to making 5 year plans. Although that has more to do with my fear of failure than it does with any principled stance. But I have to say, it’s also because I’ve learned that no one can know what’s going to happen in the next 5 years!
At various points in my life I was certain that “for the rest of my life” I would be:
- an Astronaut or fighter pilot,
- a college professor of Philosophy,
- a multimillionaire,
- a high school dean and teacher,
- the leader of a national youth ministry,
- or a hopeless wreck.
Currently, I’m none of those things. Whatever security I’ve grasped for in knowing—and controlling—the future, has been repeatedly wrenched from my feeble little fingers.
And I’m grateful for that…well mostly grateful ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Because here’s what I’ve learned. Life is not about “making all the right choices,” or “knowing all the right things.” It’s about following Jesus. Sometimes Jesus takes us off the beaten path, down roads that we would never choose for ourselves. And those roads can be scary.
But life isn’t about being in control. It isn’t about knowing where the path will end. It’s about knowing the one who is leading. And some of the best things I’ve learned about him have happened in some pretty strange (to me) places.
When you find yourself off the beaten path, here’s the one word of advice I feel confident sharing. Ask for help. Seek out wise counselors and friends. Many times I’ve felt lost, it’s been God’s goodwill to provide me with wise company for the journey.
In a recent episode, Off the Beaten Path - Spiritual Direction Part 3, Brandon and Matt explore this theme of trusting God to guide us on unfamiliar or uncomfortable paths. Check it out! You also might like our podcast on Limitations and Asking for Help.
Invitation to practice
Here’s a prayer I’ve been practicing lately. I invite you to join me. Simply ask, “God, where are you, for me, in this?” The prayer is less about getting an answer and more about putting myself in the posture of curious openness—it’s about putting myself in God’s hands.