Monday, February 27, 2012

The Downside of Destiny

“Destiny…is a fickle bitch.” – Benjamin Linus to John Locke, Lost

I’m an idealist. This is proving, for the most part (of my life), to be a bad thing.

I tend to set up wildly unattainable expectations for myself, and then crash and burn when they don’t come to fruition. I can remember a few years ago, crying out to a friend while we were on lunch break.

“Why hasn’t my life turned out like I expected?” I sobbed into my sandwich.

“What would you even do if you got everything you wanted?” she asked.

I had no answer. I just knew I wanted everything I had planned on, in my life, in my writing, in my parenting, in my marriage. I wanted it all. It was my destiny to set up dreams and then achieve them.

Or so I believed.

As you can probably imagine, I haven’t gotten everything I want. Life is not exactly what I had planned when I was an idealistic teenager. Nor is it what I had planned when I said “I do” to my handsome husband.

But maybe it’s more?

Because while we’re busy making our plans, God has a plan too. A big one. And it has little to do with just little ol’ me. In some mysterious way, our plans and dreams do matter to Him. Just not as much as we might want or in the ways we might want.

I often hear the verse Psalm 37:4 misinterpreted or tacked on to vision statements of ministries:

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."

Delight. Desire. Dreams. Destiny. Damn, that’s a lot of “D” words.

I was surprised to discover in a devotional one day that the word delight in that verse actually means “malleable.” What God is asking for is our surrender, humility, and teachability. Even when it comes to dreams.

If I had my way right now, I’d transport this new life, complete with my new friends and the fact that my life has slowed down enough to literally hear the ticking of my wall clock, back to the feet of the Rocky Mountains.

Unfortunately, I can’t. While that might be my dream, it’s not God’s plan for me. Nor is that even mildly possible in a technical sense. (See, I told you I was an idealist.)

For now, on this Monday afternoon, I will delight in where I sit in my living room, listening to the clock. And believe that God’s desires are so much more than my planned destinies.

“God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Mike and Jenni said...

I'm really enjoying your blog! Wonderful words and an encouraging heart that you have. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Becca said...

Thanks for reading, Jenni!