When I was in the sixth grade, my dad pastored a church in Lake Wales, Florida. One Saturday there was supposed to be a work day so my brother, sister and I got our old clothes on and got ready to go help out at the church. That was the plan. My parents piled us in the big, light green, Chevy impala we owned and started off down the road. Dad drove right past the church. We looked at each other and asked him what was up. He said we were going to McDonald’s first for breakfast. Cool!
He drove by the McDonald’s. What? Jodi, Jon and I looked at each other again and asked him, “Dad, where are you going?”
“Oh, there’s another McDonald’s down the road a ways.”
“Okay,” we thought, puzzled.
Dad passed the next McDonald’s. Okay, something is weird here! “Dad, we’re going to be late for the work day!” we cried, “We’re way down the road now.”
He smiled and said, “There’s another McDonald’s a little farther on.” In fact he and mom started singing a silly impromptu song, “Ohhhhhh there’s a McDonald’s in Lake Wales, there’s a McDonald’s in Winter Haven…” We realized our parents had officially lost it. If, however, they were willing to drive around and go eat at McD’s far away instead of have us pull sharp, sticky weeds out of the dry, dusty church yard that was fine with us!
He finally found a McDonald’s that was satisfactory so we went inside to eat. While we were standing in line, He looked over at a young man not far from us, and said (half to himself), “I wonder what his plans are for today?” And then a moment later, “I wonder if we’ll see him at Disney World.”
In a split second his words sunk in and we realized mom and dad had a different plan than we did for today and it was an AWESOME plan! Disney World??!! Oh yes! We were so excited we could hardly eat. I still remember the fun day we had together.
I’m not saying all of God’s plans are as happy or light-hearted a surprise as Disney World but I believe He always has good plans for us. He said so. (Jer. 29:11) He doesn’t need us to dictate how things are going down. He doesn’t even need our suggestions really. He listens patiently when we put our little “Holy Spirit Jr.” hats on and try to chime in, but He has already worked everything out.
The second thing to do when you don’t know what to do is: don’t try to come up with the answer/plan yourself. That’s God’s territory.
We see only a tiny piece of the scenery ahead from where we stand, almost like looking through a peep hole. We squint and look through, then tell God what to do next or what would be the best direction to take, all the while He stands holding us, the peephole, AND the entire universe in His hands. He sees across all time, across the expanse of everything that has been, is and will be. His vision is limitless, His wisdom boundless. To top it off, He is love.
Leave the planning to Him, the big picture, details and everything. Sit back and trust Him. Pray and wait, even if it gets weird or doesn’t seem to make sense. Even if you have no idea where you’re going. It’s going to be better than you imagined.