Don’t Mess With My Plan

July 29, 2017

I am currently on vacation. In my absence, I will be re-posting popular blog posts from the past. This blog is now in it’s fifth year! The posts I’ll be sharing with you while I am away come from my first year of writing daily on the From The Deacon’s Desk site.

The following is a reflection about my own faults and how I wish I was more like my wife. While it was written in 2013, it is a theme that will come up once again in the homily I will be delivering this weekend.

I assisted at three Masses last Sunday morning, and came home ready to get comfortable in “Dad’s chair” and watch Day 2 of the NFL wild card play-off games. The Colts had taken care of business the night before and I looked forward to watching two more games in the warmth, peace, and quiet of my home. The winter storm had started, so the stage was set for a perfect snowed-in afternoon.

About 30 minutes before kick-off, the satellite reception began to flicker, and eventually the screen went blue, indicating “No signal.” No signal, no problem. I put on my coat, hat, gloves, and boots and grabbed the ladder from the garage. It was a heavy snowfall, but that did not dissuade me. Standing on the top step of the ladder (don’t try this at home), I went to my tiptoes in order to reach the dish with my snowbrush. I prayed that my neighbors would not see how incredibly unsafe I was being. I was successful in clearing the snow from the satellite dish and getting back down the ladder in one piece.

I got the “thumbs up” from my son-in-law when I peeked into the family room to see if my efforts had paid off. I put the ladder back in the garage, stomped the snow from my boots, and took off the winter gear just in time to get back in my seat for kick-off.

Four minutes into the game, the TV went out again. However, this time it was not caused by snow covering the satellite dish. The power was out in the entire house. We were in the middle of a storm that would bring a foot of snow and record low temperatures, and our power was out.

My wife began doing mature things like calling the electric company, checking with other houses in the area, looking for downed tree limbs around power lines, and considering our options. I was stuck in my chair, staring at a dead TV screen. The game…what about the game?

In reality, it had nothing to do with the game itself. I am neither a Bengals fan nor a Chargers fan. What the power outage disrupted was my plan.

I work hard and I don’t ask for much. I earned this block of time on a Sunday afternoon to watch a little football. I deserved it. The family knew I was not to be disturbed. And here I sat, my plan disintegrating before my eyes.

Carol went into action. She called my son and daughter-in-law and asked if we could stay with them until our power was restored. (It ended up being two days.) She got out a cooler and started packing food to take with us. She packed a bag and helped my daughter and her husband pack things for themselves and their little baby. She started the van and packed everything we might need into it.

I dragged myself around, lamenting the loss of both the games and my plan.

Carol turned the storm and its impact into an adventure, and saw new possibilities in the events of the day. She stayed positive and did her best to keep all of us positive as well. When we arrived at my son’s home, she was so excited to be there. She even went out to shovel their driveway for them. Guilt eventually brought me out to give her a hand. Then she fixed dinner for everyone.

For the remainder of the day, all I could see and feel was my plan slipping away.

I struggle with disruptions to my plans. It is a work area for me. I want to be in control. I tend to get my mind set on what I want, or perceive that I need, and lose sight of the fact that I am not in control at all.

You have likely heard the expression, “If you want to give God a good laugh, just tell Him what your plan is.”

We might all be happier if we accepted the fact that God is in control. He has a plan for us, and it may not match our own plan. When His plan and our plan don’t match, we would be wise to deal with it like Carol did on Sunday by “turning it into an adventure” and “seeing new possibilities.”

When I grow up, I want to be just like my wife.

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