Being in control is not always a grand positionand sometimes I am more than willing to step back and let someone else take charge. Yet there are other times that being the one who makes the ultimate decision is more than grand. It is important that when you are in the ultimate authority position you must take into account the ”grand scheme of things.” This is how everything works together successfully when the final decision is made.
There is a funny storyabout the grandnessÂ of being in control told about Christian Herter who was governor of Massachusetts in the nineteen fifties. He was running hard for a second term in office that year and on this particular day, after a busy morning chasing votes found himself at a church barbecue. He had not eaten any lunch, it was late afternoon when he arrived, and so he was greatly famished. As Herter moved down the serving line, he held out his plate to the woman serving chicken. She put a piece on his plate and turned to the next person in line. ”Excuse me.” Governor Herter said, ”Do you mind if I have another piece of chicken?” ”Sorry,” the woman told him. ”I’m supposed to give one piece of chicken to each person.” ”But I’m starved,” the governor said. ”Sorry,” the woman said again. ”Only one to a customer.” The Governor was a modest and unassuming man, but this time he decided that he would throw a little weight around. ”Do you know who I am? He said. ”I am the governor of this state.” Without batting an eye, the woman stared him down and said, ”Do you know who I am?” ”I am the lady in charge of the chicken. Now move along mister.” In the ”grand scheme of things” the lady knew that in order to serve everyone at the barbecue there was only enough chicken for each person to have one piece. Knowing the ”grand scheme of things” made all the difference. Continue reading Grand Things in the Grand Scheme→
Your eighteen-year-old self may yell, ”I got this”, but at thirty and beyond, do you feel the same way? Are you living your dreams, the life you planned and hoped? I’m not, ”I don’t’ got this”. I am not living the life that I dreamed about or the plans that I carefully laid out. Â My life has taken many twists, turns, and wrecks; most of them totally unexpected and many circumstances that created devastation. I can however say that I have learned a lot. I have learned that without God, there are no dreams to be. To make it through life there must be faith and trust in one greater than yourself.
Noted poet, Robert Burns, is well-known for his Scots poem, To a Mouse. Most people are familiar with the lines that read;
The best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry.Â And leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy!
The poor mouse has made such plans for her home to find it now destroyed by a plow. We, whether a mouse or human, plan our lives sometimes down to the minute detail, and no matter how well-laid our plans, they often can end up, in a mess. Unlike the mouse however, we, as people, tend to live not so much in the present, but instead in the past, with much regret and sometimes fearing the future of what may come. This creates a life filled with afterthoughts.
Have you ever made your plans for the day and it just seems like everything you did multiplied or mushroomed into one issue after another? I must say that pretty much sums up my day yesterday. I knew there were things I had to do, need to do, and then wanted to do. I am a goal setter and often set the goals unrealistically. I attempt to keep God in the loop but often find myself forging ahead without giving full consideration to everything as I move forward.
YesterdayÂ was a day of doing and catching up on some much-needed chores and maintenance aroundÂ our home. The day began after I completed my morning Bible study and time with God. I prayed that morning about this week’s writing because although I knew what the verse was to beÂ I wasn’t sure what I would be writing about. So I asked God to please provide direction so it may help others to know and understood His word better.
So armed with my mental “to do” list I began my day. First on my list was to replace theÂ GFCI plug by the garden pond. I had done this twice before and knew the steps to proceed. The standard turn off the electricity was first in order as I gathered my tools to head outside. The first obstacle I ran into was that someone had not placed the batteryÂ for the screw gun properly on the chargerÂ so it could charge causing me to move into a manual operation. Determined however not to be dismayedÂ IÂ armed myself withÂ the screwdriver, quickly reviewed the directions, and out I went.
Well the task was a bit more difficult than I anticipated because the plug’s location was difficult to maneuver around. I managed in the end to hang upside down, resting my knees on the rocks,Â constantly shoving my glasses back up on my nose and changed out the plug. Now for the testing of the plug to make sure everything was as it should be.
I returned inside the house to turn the electricity back on and then returned to test my plug. My test promptly failed so I had to refer to my instruction sheet in the trouble shooting section. It was becoming evident at this point that my plans were going astray.Â The instructionsÂ suggested I make sure the connections were properly wired. What this really meant was to begin again so back in the house I went to turn back off the electricity. I then returned outside to unscrew everything again to determine the issue.
To make a long story short IÂ ended up stripping out the screw head on one of the screws and couldn’t get the plug unhinged from the box. I tried everything from every size screwdriver to pliers of every sort to attempt to get that screw to loosen up but nothing worked. My frustration level was increasing as was my body heat, my knees throbbed from the rocks, and I was ready to fling my glasses into the pond.
I went back into the studio and in a desperate measure took the Dremel tool out that had a cutting disc on it andÂ prepared to simply cut the head of the screw off. As I arrived back to the pond I felt a strong urging telling me to test the plug with something else beside the pond pump so after turning the electricity back on I plugged in the Dremel tool and lo and behold it powered up so now I knew the plug worked great so I quickly put everything back in place and cleaned up as now I had a bigger issueÂ for I knewÂ the pond pump probably needed to be replaced. Three hours later I was researching and ordering a new pump and had lost hours of time on my very loaded “to do” list. So far my plans for the day were not going so well.
Needless to say my next adventures didn’t go as I planned either. It seemed each step I took sent me in twenty different directions making my progress slow and very frustrating. In fact it took me about three-quarters of the way through the next projects as everything I did seemed to create further issues before I realized that my many plans of the day were falling apart and as I cried out to God for help He gave me my answer.Â I began to laugh as I realized this was God’s purpose. Now do not get me wrong I am not saying that God made a disaster of my day because admittedly I did a good job of that on my own as I added to my self-made plans as I went but suddenly I knew the events of the day andÂ my carefully laid out plans had now given me the necessary means toÂ illustrate this week’s focus verse as God’s purpose had prevailed.
Our Will versus God’s Will – Placing God in Control
Yield to God’s Will
For most of us, the words, “Your will be done” that places God in control of our lifeÂ is difficult to utter and truly mean. We really just want things to go our own way and of our own thinking. This is because we generally strive for the easier, more comfortable, or more convenient way of doing things. Often however the easier route of the present is not what is best. This really came to light to me this week as I passed by the closet in the upstairs hall and found the door left open. As I explored why the door was open I found that my daughter had thrown the empty gift boxes that I had asked her to clean up in her room on the closet floor. She did what was easier ”“ her will by half-heartedly doing mine. How many times do we half-heartedly tell God that we want His will to be done but yet we don’t really follow through with it? We do it only part of the way because it was easier, more comfortable, and seemed more logical to our thinking. The moreÂ however that we grow inÂ our relationship with Christ the moreÂ we realize that His way of thinking isn’t likeÂ ours and in fact what often seems more logical and easy isn’t usually God’s will at all and that is because we can’t see the ”big picture” the ultimate plan.
My daughter didn’t see anything wrong with throwing the empty gift boxes on the floor of the closet. It solved the problem she had in the immediate and accomplished what she needed to do. She didn’t see the ”big picture”. She didn’t see the problem of the future that when we needed to find something in that closet we would have to dig through the boxes and tissue paper thrown in the closet to search and find what we truly needed. She didn’t see that a hasty andÂ easy decision of her will in the present could lead to a bigger mess and frustration in the future. Isn’t that how it is with us and God’s willÂ too?
We often don’t see that by half-heartedly doing what God intends for us to do we aren’t preparing for the futureÂ situations that sit in place to bless us. We know this because God does not make plans to harm us. (Romans 8:28)He loves us too much and isn’t setting plans in place for us to suffer. He often has to work around the choices we or others have made against His plans in order for His plans to take place. Can you imagine how upset, angry, frustrated and the emotional list could continue if every time we made plans for and instructed our children, spouse, friends, employees, or anyone to do something our way for a more successful outcome they either did not comply, did so in their own frame of thinking, or only half-heartedly did the job often resulting in aÂ job needing repeated? If this happened day in and out would we give up, move on,Â or perhaps say ”to heck with you all”? Would we feel disrespected and wonder why we even care? God doesn’t. He very patiently continues to love us and adjusts or reroutes the plan because ultimately His plan will succeed with or without our or the world’s cooperation. So if we think about it like this shouldn’t we strive to comply with “Your will be done” and not ours?
Our focus verse this week is from Matthew 26:39and the words of Christ.
”He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, ”My Father! If it is possible let this cup of suffering be taken from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (NLT)
Commitment to God is so much easier to say than to do. Our mouths may sayÂ we commitÂ all our actions to GodÂ but in our hearts we expect that weÂ will handle this “thing” on our own. Perhaps it is something we are familiar with and know just ”how and what” to get it accomplished. Why should we bother God? He is busy just look at the mess the world is in. So this week we explore just how much of our life doesÂ God want us to commit? Should we commit just the “big stuff” or does he want the small too? This week’s Bible focus verse is Proverbs 16:3;