Tuesday, December 20, 2016

When things don't go as planned

Last week our plans were to travel to the Philadelphia area where our son and his family lives. My wife and I left home at the time we had planned. As we were leaving a light snow was falling. A couple of hours later the snow was getting heavier. We saw a number of vehicles off the road including one semi that was laying on its side. It had caught fire. We were almost involved in two accidents ourselves. I kept slowing down due to the amount of traffic and the dangerous conditions. When we got to Wheeling, WV we decided to spend the night.

I called our son and told him of the weather. He advised me that he would have turned around and went back home and suggested we do the same. Later that night he sent me a text saying their weather was going to be just as bad or worse later in the week, and we would be driving back in that when we returned home. I started watching the weather reports and didn't like what I was hearing. The next morning we made the decision that for once we would be smart and head back home before more bad weather arrived.

 As we started back the next morning I wasn't feeling very well. By the time we got back home I was sick with a bad head cold. As I write this I'm still not feeling well, but I think I have improved. It was definitely not the week we had planned.

We were looking forward to spending time with family last week, but that didn't happen. To say we are disappointed would be a major understatement!

I sometimes wonder how often God is disappointed when I fail to live up to His plans for my life. Scripture is clear that even before we were born God knew the plans He had for us. However, He also created us with a free will that allows us to make choices, and sometimes those choices go counter to the plans He has for us.

He could have eliminated that by making us robots, but He didn't do that. He created us as free moral agents with the ability to choose for ourselves the paths we will travel. I have often chosen a path for myself that was not in line with His purpose for my life. I have made choices that have brought pain and problems in my life and the lives of others I care for. We all have.

The good news is that our God is a God of grace, and when we repent of those wrong choices He is willing to forgive us and help us get back on the right path. Very often that means that we can still fulfill the purposes for which we were created. Failure doesn't have to be final.

Although we didn't get to see our son and his family before Christmas, we will go back soon after Christmas and spend a few days with them. When we do, this failed trip will be all but forgotten and we'll enjoy the time we do spend with them. Of course, we'll check the weather a little closer before we start out again!

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