The Master Plan

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When my brother was 6, he decided he wanted to be an astronaut.  Most 6-yr-olds say this, but he actually went through with it.  He devoted the next 20+ years to this plan: Straight A’s, Military Academy, Pilot Training, Instructor Pilot…all a part of the plan.  Only family life (kinda hard if you’re in space for months {years?} a time) and a love of  flying every day made him change his mind.

I, on the other hand, never had a plan.  I was 22 before I could answer “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  But once I had an answer I was on my way.  Graduate from college, go to seminary, get ordained, preach heresy.  …or something like that.

The problem, I’ve discovered, is that deciding what you want to be when you grow up is hardly the last big decision you have to make.  Will I ask her to marry me?  When should we have kids?  Can I afford to replace this duct-taped automobile?  Is it time to change careers?   Can we buy a house?  Can I salvage this friendship?  What do I do next?  Where do I want to go?

Jesus faced the same kinds of questions.  Sure, from a distance, Jesus’ life looks planned out.  But when you get in close and read the gospels you realized he was constantly interrupted.  If he had a plan, there were definitely days he never got around to it.  Sick people asked for help.  Parents begged him to heal their children.  Women grabbed his clothes on a crowded street knowing that even one touch could change their lives (Mark 5:21-42).  And Jesus responded every time with life, healing, forgiveness and love.  He healed the children and held up the left-out woman as an example of faith.  Jesus believed in the Kingdom of God – a place where every single life was a big deal and everyone deserved life and love.  So Jesus made that kingdom present in the world around him.

We can do the same thing.  When we run into questions, distractions, detours or tough decisions, we don’t have to get frustrated by the interruptions.  We too can decide to be about life and love today.  We can choose to let the people around us see that hope is possible.  We can show someone else that the Kingdom of God is a real place – even on the days when we don’t know where to find it.  Because we know what it looks like.  It looks like Jesus.

When I read the bible, I don’t find God calling us to discover the master plan for our lives.  I find an invitation to join God’s master plan.  I find an invitation to live in and build the Kingdom of God – that world where every single life matters and where we’re guided and strengthened by our Creator to look more and more each day like Jesus.

I keep asking myself “What do I do next?” and “Where do I want to go?”  But I think there are better questions:  Where is God working already?  How can I get involved?

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