Can I Royally Screw Up God's Plan?

Saturday, November 25, 2017

I was playing a magazine scavenger hunt with my after-schoolers when my cell phone began to ring. I was using it as a timer for the competition, so the cell phone was right there in my hand.
And it was  LOUD.

I muted the phone quickly and looked down – it was the organization that just a few days earlier had offered me a job (and I eagerly accepted). Why were they calling? Did something go wrong? There was no way I could answer – not with four loud elementary schoolers alone in a classroom – so I cringed as I watched the organization leave a voicemail.

My voice of anxiety went in a million different directions:
- did I eat or drink something that made my drug test come up as a false positive?
- was there some mistake in my background check?
- were they rescinding the offer because they found someone better?

Once the kids left and in the small window of time I had before my adult education class came in, I called the organization's office. The woman who called was already gone and her voicemail stated that she wouldn't be free until the afternoon tomorrow. My heart sank as I thought of all the waiting.

The next morning, as I drove to work, I kept thinking about the phone call the day before (because, of course, I am who I am. Anxiety is probably one of my most annoying attributes). I was excited about this job. The job was with a very reputable non-profit that does great work and the position would be interesting and challenging. And to think that all that excitement might be gone in the blink of an eye...

As I agonized over it, I started thinking about God's plan. If God's plan for me was to work for this organization, He would make it happen, right? But yet, I seem to subconsciously believe I have the power to royally screw it up somehow.

God is writing a story in me. I like to imagine He's at a typewriter in a study surrounded by leather books, maybe with a comfortable red chair. I imagine some kind of wonderful mix of Belle's library in Beauty and the Beast, the Hogwarts library, and Sherlock's office.

Maybe those leather books are other people's stories that He pulls out so our stories can intertwine. Maybe the books are there just because He knows I love the smell of books and the sound of a typewriter.

Why is it I think that I can rush into the study like a little child who doesn’t know any better and scribble with crayon over all those future chapters God has already written, causing Him to be frazzled and re-write those chapters, never as good as the first time? (Interestingly enough, that’s exactly what I had to do with this blog post because Blogger lost it the first time. God has a sense of humor.)

But faith tells me that the truth is, even if I do scribble over those pages, God has some magical crayon eraser. And the chapters are fine with no need for a re-write or even editing. (Because, as you know, God has perfect spelling and grammar.)

And it may turn out that the chapters don't go the way I predict anyway, for the best or worst. After all, that's what makes a good story, right? Who would have predicted that Harry Potter was being protected and cared for all that time by...oh wait, maybe some people haven't read the books/seen the movies? All right, I won't give it away, but you get the point.

It may turn out that there was a "yes" to one of those anxious questions I asked myself when I received that call. But that doesn't mean I went over God's head and screwed up some marvelous future for myself. It means I dust off my feet, find out and fix what went wrong for next time (if necessary), and move on. Because God has something else in store. 

So, I waited to make that phone call. And repeated to myself that the God has already typed out those pages, whatever they are, and there was nothing I could do personally to screw it up.Instead of scribbling or even worrying about my scribbles, maybe I should just lean back in the red chair, listen to the keystrokes, and enjoy the book smell.

Yup, that sounds good to me.

(Update: As I tried to relax in that red chair some two weeks ago, my phone rang again...before 12pm even. Everything was fine. They were officially offering me the job. I start on Monday. 
Hearing about the job - and even getting it - is another example of God writing my story. If you were part of that story, regardless of your role, I hope you know how grateful I am.)

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