Noted profound thinker and pugilist, Mike Tyson, once said, “Everybody has a plan until they get hit.” Surprisingly keen from someone who seemingly can’t keep any part of his life in order, don’t you think? But Tyson is right. Dead right!
As I sat with my old prayer group from college this weekend, I began to think about life, plans and joking around. In school we would laugh and make fun of just about anything. That’s not so much the case now. Though our censor buttons are still typically turned to the “off” position when we’re together, there are some things that aren’t so funny anymore. Since we walked the campus of Abilene Christian University our plans have taken some hits. There have been some truly wonderful moments — marriages, children, career advancement, goals met. There have also been terribly distressing moments — divorces and marital strife, beautiful children born with birth defects and infertility, career frustration and jobs deserved and not offered, and goals that may never be met or have been abandoned all together.
In an odd life convergence, when I arrived home from the weekend I had a mass e-mail from Classmates.com asking me to update my profile. I — like you, I suppose — receive these pretty frequently and never pay attention, but this time I did. As I was looking at the questionnaire, one question jumped off the page to me: “Where are you in life?”
Classmates has several options listed to answer that question, but most folks in my high school graduating class answered: “About where I thought I’d be?”
I thought, “Are any of us where we thought we’d be?” In some way “yes,” but in more ways “no,” I would guess. Who could predict the ups and downs, the loves and loads that have befallen us all since high school or college? My prayer group from college couldn’t. Living means encountering and embracing the unexpected and recalibrating “where we thought we’d be.”
And I think that’s a good thing!
As I flip the pages of the New Testament, I see again and again that the people who miss Life with Jesus miss Him because He doesn’t fit what they thought He’d be. I’ve learned that it is the truly spiritual person who sees God in the “terribly distressing moments,” knowing that our plans need to take some hits so that we might step into God’s plan.
I’m not saying that I’ve got this all figured out. I want God to sign off on my five-year strategy, trust me. I am saying that the next time I log on to Classmates.com, I want them to have another option listed to answer the question, “Where are you in life.”
The option I want: “Right where God wants it to be, and I’m happy with that.”