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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Life Isn't Always What You Expect It to Be

As a child you allowed life to happen. Your parents took you everywhere you went and much of your time and nearly all your goals were prescribed for you. You did not think much of the future. It was like you were floating down a river on an inner tube. The river took you where it went. You were just a passenger.

The older you got the more decisions you were able to make. You were asked what you would do with your life. That question generally meant what you would do to support yourself. Some people know from the beginning but most change their decisions often. Eventually, you settle on one profession. You think that is what you will do the rest of your life. You may change jobs but you expect to stay within the same profession. This is rarely true today but it is your expectation.

Either new technologies or new opportunities capture your interest and you change professions. You may even go back to school and change to something completely unrelated. Thus, you have MD's with bachelors in Electrical Engineering. They don't seem very related.

At some point you may wonder if you are back in that river you were in as a kid. How could these things happen like this? How could you change direction in ways that were totally unforeseeable?

I suppose you could explain your change of direction by saying it is all about you and what you wanted. Surely, you made the decision to change directions in ways you never expected. Yet, I would ask you to consider another possibility. Could it be that there is an outside force who is helping you with your decisions?

Suppose there is Someone who is working all around you at all times. He is putting interests in your path. He can do so because He knows your heart. He knows what is best for you and is able to bring people to speak to you at the proper moments. He is able to put circumstances in front of you just when you need an answer. He senses when you have gotten bored with your current profession. He knows when you are frustrated and need a new challenge. He has great plans for you. These plans are for your good. Your response means your life takes an unexpected turn.

In the middle of the town of Enterprise, Alabama is a statue of a boll weevil. Years ago the boll weevil wiped out the cotton crops and forced the farmers to consider a new crop. They started planting peanuts and made more money than they ever could planting cotton. They owed their success to something that seemed to be their nemesis. Life took an unexpected turn. They are glad it did.

Life takes unexpected turns for us but it is never unexpected for God. I believe that He is often the One leading us to change our direction. I believe He is the One who has the ultimate plan for our good. I believe that following Him is the best.

Yes, life isn't always what you expect it to be. Sometimes it takes terrible turns that lead us down glorious paths. I thank God it isn't what I expected. In the long run, it's much better.

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