The Best Laid Plans
June 4, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” - James 4:13-15 NKJV.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV.
By now you have probably seen the video of the wedding party on the collapsing dock. It was on virtually every news program yesterday. The soaking of most of the 29 members of the wedding group occurred in Crosslake, Minnesota. Prior to the wedding ceremony, the photographer took several staged photos and videos. One of them was on an older dock, which could not take the combined weight of all 29 people. But the show must go on, and an hour later the mostly dry group did participate in the actual ceremony. It was reported that after the drenching the bride was laughing and smiling and was asking the videographer if she had gotten the dock collapse on video. Megan Fritze, the videographer, said that “An hour later, you couldn’t even tell that anyone had gotten wet.” And about the bride’s attitude Megan said “This is a really cool bride. The bride was absolutely stunning, in and out of the water.” (ABC; NBC; FoxNews and other news venues 06.03.14)
From my personal observations, few weddings are perfect. Many glitches occur around the wedding rings. In one wedding I officiated, the rings were forgotten, but we simply acted as though we had the rings. In another wedding I read about, that took place in the 1940s in an unfinished church, there was a problem with the rings too. The rings were somehow dropped by the pastor, and they fell through a gap in the unfinished floorboards. After the ceremony, they searched in the dirt of the unfinished basement until the rings were found.
It is not just wedding plans that end up being changed or going awry. In the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, the city officials wanted something nice for their city. They planned, and attempted to create an artificial lake nearby to be filled by a known underground water source. However, the water dried up, and the instead of a lake there is a large sand pile covering an area the size of four football fields. (People.com 05.19.14)
You can probably think of a few of your own plans that have been changed or gone awry, I know I can. From personal experience, I know what it is like for a profitable business to suddenly be lost due to changing market and political conditions. Many others lost their businesses too. I know what it is like to have a job thinking it will last for many years and to suddenly be told that the business can no longer afford to have me as an employee. But those things are not as painful as the emotional turmoil of shattered marriages ending in divorce, or the tragedies that many have faced.
As God points out through James, we don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, much less farther down the road of time. Plans do change, and they do go awry through no fault of our own simply because life is like that. How we choose to deal with those situations is something we do have some control over. An excellent example is given to us by the bride, who with her wedding party, were all soaked when the dock they were posing on collapsed. Her response was one of smiling, laughing and wanting to know if the videographer had gotten the video of the dock collapse. As James says our lives are like a “vapor,” but we don’t have to let a change in plans blow us away. Remember if you know Jesus as your Savior you are not alone. Psalm 70:4 tells us what to do when things change unexpectedly: “Let God be magnified!” Make much out of God, and little out of what has happened.