Why That Ending?

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If you’ve read this blog for any length of time (thank you), you’ve realized I always end with the phrase, “Until next Wednesday, Lord willing.”

This is not just a phrase I use to end my weekly blog.  This is a phrase I use multiple times per day and a philosophy to which I dearly adhere.

  • Lord willing, we plan to be there Saturday night.
  • If the Lord allows, I know the upcoming party is going to be so fun.
  • Lord willing, we will meet you in Ft. Wayne at 5 p.m.

I used to be a planner.  Well, technically I still am, to a large extent.  But my planning has certainly softened over the years, and especially in the last three.  Maybe what has softened isn’t necessarily my planning but my determination that what I planed will actually happen.

True story: the summer of 1996 I was shopping with some friends, and I told them I was getting married the next summer.  There was just one small problem with my announcement.  Not only did I not have a fiance, I wasn’t even dating anyone.  It’s just that in my heart, I had a feeling I would be getting married the next summer, so I figured I might as well start planning.

And thanks to Chad Jagger, I did get married the summer of 1997.  And let’s just say I made a believer out of some of my incredulous friends.

I will be the first to admit, for forty-four years of my life, I possessed this false sense of being in charge.  If I planned for it, if I worked hard enough for it, if I gave it everything I had, then it would happen.  I somehow thought I was in the driver’s seat and God was my copilot. Nothing but the reverse was true.

Yeah, you guessed it.  The wreck changed my perspective.  I am not in charge.  I can plan and prep and make all sorts of decisions, but that may not be exactly how life turns out.  The complexity and speed with which life changes amazes me.  I still can’t believe a family can be discussing college running scholarships with a great distance runner and literally two seconds later that runner is paralyzed.

I couldn’t make that up if I tried.

When I see how many doors have opened for Alissa and our family due to the wreck and her paralysis, I truly am grateful.  I’m not so devastated by my daughter’s paralysis that I can’t see the hand of God and the goodness He’s bringing from all of this.  But when He says in the Bible, “My ways are not your ways,” He means it!  This is not the way I would choose for anyone, let alone, my daughter and family.

It all boils down to this: “Do I trust God or do I not trust God?”  And I decided long ago I trusted Him, so I’d be a pretty fair-weather-follower if I bailed now.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  -James 4:13-15

And so I’ve learned that lesson first hand.  I still need to make plans.  Good grief, the world needs the planners now more than ever.  I can’t just fly by the seat of my pants, especially when paralysis is involved, but I can’t hold on so tightly and fight so fiercely that I’m completely thrown if my plans don’t turn out the way I thought they would.

Nope, I don’t think I’ve lost focus.  Actually, I think I’ve found it.

Until next Wednesday, Lord willing, when I share what I learned from dealing with an old codger in the Wal-Mart check out line.