“If you want to make God laugh, just tell him what you intend to do with your life.” Or, that’s what I have heard all my life. It wasn’t until recently, the irony of that comical quip came back to remind me of what it means to be alive.
A friend of mine, Alan, has cancer. Alan is on Social Security and has public assistance for medical. Another friend, Dave, is fearful he might also, but can’t get to a doctor until he has more money. Is this, then, what seems so funny?
We each have made a place for us in the world. Dreams and desires whipped up from the plans of youthful exuberance. Some chose to move quickly to join the workforce of the masses. Others, choose schooling. Higher education to assure their success. Still, others find themselves comfortable in the annals of academia.
Along the way, we each seek to find someone to share these wonders with. Praying like mad that they will support us, defend us, and grow old as professed when we took dating to a more serious level of commitment.
There are those who have decided that the term ‘divorce’ will never be uttered. Those who find monogamy and fidelity easier to say (or even spell) than practice. There are those that promise forever, only to realize their commitments were never true. Then the lie of one’s life either remains, or destroys the one who relied on their false promise… at least for a time.
Yet, there are those that seem to move through life in an easier manner. Even when their lives are mired with negatives the world cannot see. People glorify drug dealers, gangsters, and the idle rich. Wishing they could find their own stash of cash that would make everything alright.
Didn’t I start with speaking of God?
Maybe that is the point after all. We might start with Him in our lives, but, as time refuses to stop for us, we fail to see even minor miracles in our lives. Preferring to believe that we “did it” all by ourselves.
How then to explain away those rare and special people we meet that have survived, deep despair, medical tragedies, and personal financial ruin? Those who never utter an unkind word about anyone. Those who have such a positive outlook that we cannot deny they must walk with Angels.
For most, we silently affirm that “we” could never be like them. That “we” could never have that kind of faith. We may even tell ourselves that, one day, we may attain that level of “trust…” Trust, an interesting word. In “whom” would we trust? In “what” would we trust?
Biblically we are told that we will face times when the children will turn from their parents. When the husband will face his wife and discover only anger and pain between them. To realize that none of this has been a part of our original plan, we must then decide where we fit in the scheme of our current circumstance.
That brings us to another saying many are fond of; “There but for the grace of God go I.”
Well? What do you intend to do with the rest of your life?
I recently re-met a woman that I had not seen in 35+ years. I was her very first date back in the time when I knew everything. (High School) We met as she had found this site on the internet. She followed up with a posting ion Facebook. Wondering if I would even remember her. Without a doubt, I did. In fact, had I married this woman, we would probably have remained together to fit the picture of growing old with a dozen children or so.
To understand how lives are touched, then left to serendipity in the thirty-five years we have been apart, we reminisced of what might have been. Of the reason she stopped seeing me. Of the part ‘others’ play in the life of those they also care about.
Choices are wonderful things. They can be for good or bad in the outcome. What counts is what we decide about our own circumstances. Like the person who looks to the best in everyone. Even at the cost of what seems all they possess. Maybe it is they who possess that unique quality that permits the best in all that is human to be seen, no matter how another may treat them.
As we pity them in their circumstance, as they pronounce blessings on us for our moment of charity. The blessing they receive as we give them a small moment of joy – they see our friendship.
For Wilma. A woman who spent her life in the service of others. Her fingers had grown old and twisted. Her vision was failing. Her eyes full of cataracts. Her gait stilted and broken also. Still, she gave her time to help others she saw as in need. She baked, and cleaned, and served those with small children, or sick and afflicted. Never missing a single day of fellowship in church.
The words she used to shape my life, I leave with you:
“God is good to all of us. He gives us what we need, which is what we should want. He taught us to help others. So we must choose to pattern our lives after His. That is the choice I made for myself. No matter what others may see as my afflictions, He holds me in His arms. He lets me know what is important.”
Maybe it is time to stop telling Him what we intend to do with our lives and listen to what He would like us to do. Then ask him of our decisions; whether they are what He would have us do… if so, we just might have a laugh together at the plans we have made thus far. And, be provided a little more clarity for a future that remains forever brighter.