A change of plans

I had some plans lined up for yesterday morning while L. was at preschool. Nothing really major or earth-shattering, but still…plans. And I was looking forward to them.

Chad had offered to pick L. up at school in the very likely chance that my plans overflowed beyond pick-up time. I was all set. I had even decided to pick up a yummy Mocha Coconut Frappuccino to kick off my grand morning.

But then, at 8:22 a.m., I received an email informing me that the plans were off. They just weren’t going to happen. We’d have to reschedule.

I was fine. I mean, I could still enjoy a frappuccino, right? And I did have a bunch of errands that I needed to run. And yes, rescheduling would work. It would be okay.

But if I’m honest with you, I have to admit that I don’t really like when my plans get changed. Especially at the last minute.

Maybe it’s because I’m a control freak diligent about scheduling things. Perhaps I just [strongly] prefer order to uncertainty. Or maybe it’s because a part of me thinks life is all about me and I get miffed when the world dares to mess with my established plans.

*

I enjoyed my coffee. I ran my errands. I headed back to preschool to pick up L. and head home for lunch. But as I was buckling L.’s seatbelt in the preschool parking lot, I heard a friend who was parked nearby exclaim, “Oh no, this never happens!”

It turns out, she was locked out of her car. Along with her son, her daughter, and her daughter’s friend. Her purse and keys taunted her from just inside the door, but it was no good. Every door was locked.

After a quick phone call to determine that her husband couldn’t come rescue her for a while, we decided to pack everyone into our car. I’d gladly drive them home — or anywhere else they needed to go. L. just happens to have a crush on my friend’s little girl, and I was happy for some time to chat with a friend.

As we got everyone settled in, my friend said, “You know what I love? I love a change of plans!” She told me that when something unexpected happens or when someone just drops by, or things seem to go wrong, she loves it. She looks forward to what will come of it.

I confessed that I usually don’t like a change of plans. I tend to get stressed out or frazzled when things don’t go the way they’re “supposed” to go.

Of course, I didn’t mind at all changing our meager lunch plans to drive them where they needed to go. But if it had been me who got locked out of the car? I wouldn’t have been nearly as gracious and pleasant as she was. I wouldn’t have been anticipating a delightful turn of events. I might have even been grouchy.

*

We thoroughly enjoyed our car ride. L. was thrilled to have some company, and my friend and I talked about everything from books to kids’ allowances. It really was a delightful addition to our day.

And as L. and I headed home, we talked about how the change of my morning plans (while maybe not exactly welcome in my mind at first) had enabled me to be at preschool at pick-up time and gave us the opportunity to help some friends and enjoy their company. The “inconvenience” of rescheduling my own plans is really nothing compared to the day we ended up having.

Why is it so hard for me to trust that God orchestrates these twists in my schedule? Proverbs 16:9 has long been a favorite verse of mine: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” But yet, when my course is adjusted, it still takes me a while to get over myself and to watch for what God has planned.

I’m in good company, though, I suppose. C.S. Lewis said:

The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s “own,” or “real” life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one’s “real life” is a phantom of one’s own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it’s hard to remember it all the time.

Here’s hoping that next time I encounter an unexpected change of plans, I can react more like my friend…and look forward to whatever it is that God has in store!

Comments

  1. Well said. I confess that I’m right there with you when “my plans” are changed. If only we looked at every change in light of what God is doing. I’m so glad He put you there to help your friend and give you eyes to see His goodness.

  2. I’m not usually a big one on changes of plans either, but I have found that when that does happen, most of the time, the change is always better that I had planned when I can just relax and go with it. : )

  3. Yes, I do agree that accepting a change — especially when it comes to helping out someone else — is one type of spiritual strength. But I’m like you — I sort of like to know what’s going on. I usually enjoy those types of last-minute fun plans when I let myself, but if I overthink them, I let them stress me out. Silly!
    Jennifer, Snapshot´s last post ..Time in a BottleMy Profile

  4. I don’t handle change well if I’m on my own — well maybe that’s not true anymore. It used to drive me crazy! Over time, as I’ve tried to help my kids learn to adjust to sudden changes in plans, I’ve learned along with them,

    I really, really like this line: Or maybe it’s because a part of me thinks life is all about me and I get miffed when the world dares to mess with my established plans.

    I’m pretty sure that’s my world view! LOL!

  5. What a wonderful lesson! I love your friend’s perspective on it! I too would have not been as excited about the change of plans!

  6. As the mother of a child w/Autism, I hate hate hate change! It can lead to such big headaches for me & meltdowns from him. I also get angry if it’s because of someone else’s poor planning or inconsideration.

    Maybe I will look at them now as little exercises in growth from God. ;)

  7. Ahh, yes. Sometimes God does throw a wrench into our little plans that seem so very important, but after we find they are not quite so. His ways are better. Change is slowly growing on me, it’s not always pleasant, but I have learned to let go a little bit.

  8. Funny but true story. I am one who always planned everything. I planned a trip to St. Augustine, FL. I planned travel time between attractions, how long we would spend at restaurants, how long to have the kids nap… You get the idea. We went to our first stop after breakfast went to lunch came back for our PLANNED nap and awoke to rain. God let me know real quick things had to change. It was one of the best vacations we had and one of the least stressful for me.

  9. Graywolfie says:

    Oooo..I used to welcome any change of plans – that was before I had kids..now I find it difficult to handle..especially if the change involves them

  10. Our church ladies’ Bible study group is just starting a study all about God’s “Divine Interventions” (as opposed to “interruptions”) — it’s Priscilla Shirer’s new study, “Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted. So far, I think it’s going to be very good, and very relevant. I hate interruptions! LOL. ;)

  11. You know, I don’t think any of really like change, but we know it is a huge part of life. I have learned to adapt over the years, but it doesn’t mean that I like change. I had a change of plans happen to me yesterday, and I know I didn’t handle it well. But I guess it’s better to have a change of plans we don’t know about. After all, it God gave us a printout of what the day, week, month, year, lifetime held, I don’t think we would be obliging enough to agree to it. If God had told me ten years ago I would be where I am today, I would have said no thank you and went a different direction.

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