This problem at work is rather minor compared to the rest of life. Crazy things happen there all the time - life is not tidy. My dad had a partial hip replacement last week. He's fine, but there were some unexpected problems once they got in there and the surgery took longer than planned. He's spending more time away from home than planned. I'm quite certain none of that was on his list of things to do this month. Unexpected and not tidy! Tomorrow I hope to go visit him, but don't even know if I can travel due to a very rude ice and snow storm. Unexpected and not tidy!
I see on Facebook the unexpected and untidy all the time. There's a family dealing with a crisis. Nobody plans a crisis. There's a mom posting about her sick toddler with the fever. I can't imagine that's very tidy. One of my friends keeps liking statuses from a man regarding his horrific cancer treatment. It doesn't seem he was anticipating that showing up right now.
When things like these happen, I really want a flow chart. This should come as no surprise to those who know me or just read my blog title. I want a plan. I want a list. I want action items. I want to know what I need to do and in what order to prepare for the well-defined thing that comes next. I want it to be neat and tidy and planned and expected and explainable and organized. In my head, I want it to be predictable.
In my class this semester, my instructor discussed the idea that the Bible does not give us a map - it only gives us a compass. We need prayer to know where to go. Talking to the God who created this all and can see the whole picture (predictable from His vantage) is the only way to make sense of it all. And when I pray, I remember that life isn't tidy. It isn't meant to be. Jesus' life certainly was not tidy, or predicable.
God promises to guide us, but we must go to Him in prayer. Jesus prayed frequently and at length. We may not get a flowchart out of the deal, but the next step will always be clearer and easier to take than without the light of the Lord. Let us go to Him in prayer!
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. -Ps 119:105Let us also remember that God had something to do with the path we are traveling. The God who created the Universe certainly has the power to guide us in the future, but what has happened before in our lives can serve to help us in our current trials. The path behind us may have helped us to prepare for the path ahead.