I am often reminded, in my stupor of personal wallowing, that the fact that I have plans for my future is of no consequence to God. It’s not that He doesn’t let us choose our future, it’s that He is, after all, a Father.
When my college-age daughter comes to me with a plan that I believe will ultimately not be good for her I have two choices; I can support her decision-making process (even while telling her how I feel) or I can tell her I know better than she does and that she will do it my way or not at all. I’m sure you can imagine that I would like to do the latter most of the time!
And yet our relationship has been steadily built on the premise that she is an individual and, as such, may want to do things differently than I would do it. Truth be told she has made some very good decisions and I’ve been proud of her. However, for the most part, I know her potential, her weaknesses and her strengths and I know what she should probably be doing so I could save her a lot of time and effort by just insisting on my course.
Here’s the glitch though. She may end up in the same place I would’ve sent her but if she doesn’t make it there on her own she will have missed the opportunity to grow in that area. What could be the most important thing she does can quickly turn into the thing she resents because it wasn’t her idea in the first place.
I think God is that parent when we try to make our own plans. He listens, He nods, He celebrates our willingness to think for ourselves and try new things, He laughs with us and cries with us when it doesn’t go as planned and He could say, “I told you so” but He never does. He actually knows us better than we can ever imagine, what we’re here for and what is best for us and yet He allows us to come to that conclusion all by ourselves.
Dee Shihady © 05/09/16