“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”
For the past few weeks, as I have attempted to continue my blog in reflection of the parts of the Lord’s Prayer, I have found myself distracted. Life has not gone as planned. Well, maybe life has gone as planned but those plans were not the ones which I constructed.
It seemed each day that the things I meant to do, I didn’t always get done. And the time became filled with things never anticipated. The “best laid plans” reference comes from a line in the poem, “ Of a Mouse” written by Robert Burns. The poems tells of the regret the narrator feels for having destroyed the home of a mouse while plowing his field.
While I have kept to my plan of meeting the challenge of praying the Lord’s prayer daily at noon – thanks to the alarm on my iPhone – I have not consistently reflected on that prayer and what it means. That can easily happen when I read my Bible for my own growth, and not just for sermon or Bible study preparation. My best laid plans of spending time in the Word and in prayer can become reaction to a plan and not a relationship building time with God. I can be as guilty as the farmer plowing the field if I just roll past recognition of the power and my role in “Thy Kingdom” and Thy Will.”
The line – “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done – on earth as it is in heaven…” reminds us of two key things: who has the power in my life and why.
Thy kingdom come is reference to God’s reign in our hearts and over all that we do and say, now in part and later in fullness as Christ returns to rule the new heaven and earth. Thy will is God’s will for us to let God make the plans and we faithfully listen, watch, and follow the Spirit’s lead. With heaven as perfection, and earth as our current reality of imperfection, God’s kingdom and God’s will can still lead and guide us. Even as we make our “best laid plans.” By the grace and mercy of Christ, I don’t have to have the best laid plan; my part is to rely on the power of my Amazing God and Savior, who by His Spirit, will guide and equip me to be a faithful disciple in the planned moments and the unexpected ones.
On those days when my plans didn’t work out, I found myself in unplanned moments of kingdom building by showing compassion, revealing Christ’s love, and being still in the Spirit’s presence. In the unexpected, I found God’s will for me to let God be God and not try to take on that job for myself. Making lists and agendas is good, but only if it leaves room for the Spirit to remind me of God’s kingdom and God’s will to be known and done.
So while my plan to blog every day may be a good plan, my intention to keep in touch with who God is and who I am to Him is more important…even if I occasionally need a reminder like an iPhone alarm.