That’s what I started out intending to do today – make plans and change lives. I confess to not being very adept at it. You see, my personality type is one that is concerned more for what others want than what I want and consequently, whenever I try to make plans I am driven by my concern about the impact of MY plan on the lives of family members, friends, my church, the DOG! If I were a younger woman with family still at home or a job to consider then I think my general reticence to make a plan without taking into account its impact on everyone else would be a reasonable thing. The issue is that I have no family at home. It is just me and my little red wagon. That’s all. So why am I so concerned about the impact of MY plan on THEIR lives? I just don’t know. Anyway, I back-burnered the idea in favor of puttering around the house taking care of little things and generally relaxing.
This afternoon I was busily applying vinyl lettering to a wall in my den. The phrase I was placing there is one that I love so well and really reflects who I am. Plus, I had a blank space that was crying for some attention so I thought, why not? Well, let me tell you why not……
My son showed up just as I was finishing the task. And like all grown children, he thinks he has to comment on whatever his parent is doing. And for whatever reason, the comment was not encouraging or congratulatory. No, his concern was for his mother who has started “writing” on her walls. Perhaps she needs to talk to someone about her desire to mark up the walls? Perhaps the time had come to consider some sort of ‘community’ living arrangement. Was I lonely? Too much time on my hands? Do I need a hobby? I wasn’t amused.
Thankfully, I also wasn’t upset. I didn’t expect praise for what I was doing so his comments did not come as a shock nor did they upset the peaceful emotional balance in which I have come to dwell (thank you Jesus). I also didn’t feel the need to respond or defend myself – that, my friend, is a REAL milestone (again, thank you, Jesus!)
So there I was, busily rubbing the vinyl lettering on and chatting away with my son just as if he hadn’t said anything negative or rude or condescending. His words seemed to roll off of me like water off of the back of a duck. And as we chatted I became even more aware of my desire to ‘hit the road’ so to speak.
Anyway, back to my point – I want to spend what remains of my time on this green earth doing something that brings me joy and draws others into the circle of love of the Master. I really am not particular about what that might be. I just want to get on with it. So today’s encounter with my son revealed that I have grown quite a bit and maybe, just maybe, this time I CAN make a plan without being concerned about what the rest of the family thinks or how it will impact their lives. Because the fact is, it won’t really affect their lives at all except that I may not be available all of the time to them whenever the fancy strikes them. And that’s probably a good thing – everybody has to stand on their own some time.
Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”