Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Pomp and Circumstance

This past Sunday was Graduate Recognition Day at my church. In typical fashion, the Class of 2007 filed across the stage to receive a gift from the Youth Pastor, while a person off-stage listed the grad’s achievements and future plans.

As I listened to all the big hopes and dreams, I couldn’t help but remember myself at that age. So excited to leave high school behind and head off for the big world of college, and convinced I’d never go home ever again. I was majoring in Sociology, planning to become a Social Worker and change the world by making a difference in the lives of others and helping those who couldn’t help themselves.

Except for the vow never to go home again, my husband had some different ideas. He had decided that he was going to graduate with a 4.0 in Chemical Engineering and go to work at a specific company, where he would work his way up the ladder to eventually become the VP of Research and Development. He was going to get married, have 2.5 kids, and live the whole American Dream.

As you might have guessed, things didn’t turn out like either of us would have planned. My husband did become a Chemical Engineer, but only for a little while, as God called him to become a teacher. The corporate world turned out to be more my speed, and I was the one who ended up on the fast track while my husband gave up money and prestige for the chance to invest in others. A businesswoman with a Sociology degree, and a Chemistry teacher with a Master’s degree in Engineering – makes no sense whatsoever, but that’s God for you.

I think that sometimes God just gives us the “what,” and we assign our own “why.” We get on His path, but then we make assumptions about where it will end up. And if we become too focused on those assumptions, before we know it, we have missed the fork in road we were supposed to take, and we end up driving away from Him despite all our good intentions to follow Him.

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will grant you the desires of your heart.” Even if you don’t really know what those desires are yet, and even if they seem impossible, the real way to make your dreams come true is to live a joyful life, knowing that God is in control.

Lately I have been guilty of trying to out-plan God. I can’t see what’s around the next bend, and it’s been driving me crazy. I want to make a PLAN, but really everything is already laid out for me if I just wait for it. I need to delight myself in all the joys of God that are in the here and now, and let the future take care of itself.
So congratulations to all the 2007 Grads. May God always keep you guessing, and may you love every minute of it.

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