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What are your plans?

It has been said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell God your plans”.
I am reminded of the story of the Israelites in the days of the Judges. In the First Book of Samuel, the newest judges, who just happen to be Samuel’s sons, are highly corrupt and unfair. The people demand a king rather than live under the guidance of these judges. When Samuel goes to God with the people’s demand, he expresses a personal sense of failure. God tells him that the people are not rejecting Samuel; they are rejecting God as their king. God explains very clearly what would happen if a king was put in place, and the news is not good. Even so, the people reject God’s words and continue to demand a king, so God relents and agrees to let the people have a king.
God does not give up on the people and make them sink or swim by their own devices. God does not let the failures of the kings destroy the people. God holds them all close and watches them carefully. He sends them what they need when the days grow dark during the reigns of some of their kings.
God does not want our plans to fail, but sometimes we put too much of “us” into them. No prayer, no reflection; it is all about whatever we want to do and when we want to do it. If the plans fail, we never understand why.
I don’t think that God laughs at us when we make plans. God is not sadistic or cynical about us. God loves us. So when our plans go awry, God is there with arms open to tell us it is time to start over and put in the missing piece — God. As we make our plans, major and minor, let us keep our own hearts and minds open to accept God’s direction. Let us be willing to listen to the wisdom of the prophets in our lives today who can share God’s words with us. Let us be willing to change our plans, to let go, and to let God!
Sister Pat is a member of the RENEW staff, a Dominican Sister, and loves working with Young Adults as the program manager of Theology on Tap.

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