Lee and I went shopping today for a big ticket item. We knew what we wanted, and we were aware of the challenges we might encounter in trying to obtain it. Still, we set out with a game plan and a mission. The day was spent weighing options, negotiating terms, looking at alternatives, and considering the pros and cons of the decision at hand. At the end of the day, we came home without what we’d set out to accomplish. We did not, however, come home empty-handed.
In the course of the five and a half hours we invested into our mission, we had our eyes opened to a possibility we had not even considered. Forget plans A, B, C, D and E, by the time we got home we were locked into plan F. Not F as in failure. Rather F as in faith.
How does the saying go again? We make plans and God laughs? I am pretty sure that is what Lee and I experienced today. But instead of being frustrated or upset, we’re overflowing with joy at the opportunity that’s been presented to us. Even though neither one of us stated it verbally, we both began our quest today by placing the whole process in God’s hands. There were times when Gil 1.0 would have stood up and walked out. There were moments when Lee 1.0 would have started with anxiety tears. There were times when the disagreements would have, in the past, resulted in disagreeable behavior. But not today.
Now I’m not saying that Lee and I are operating on some mystic level of enlightenment. Rather, Gil and Lee 2.0 relied on two phrases that have been keystones of their shared lives for the past several years now: God will take us where He wants us to be and Be the church.
The first is born from our desire to place our trust in God and to surrender to His will. We both know we can’t get through life without God by our side, so why try? We ask God for guidance and wisdom. We ask Him to grant us patience and grace to endure the challenging moments. Most importantly, we walk in complete confidence knowing that because of our faith in Him, God will move us in the right direction.
The second phrase is a reminder that we can’t just be selective with our behavior. As much as we’d like to, we can’t lash out at the first challenge that’s presented. Emotional restraint is what we’re called to display, both in the small setbacks and also in the most calamitous of times. For us, it’s become a mantra we can lean on to calm us down and refocus on what our priorities are.
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
-Philippians 1:27 NIV
We hope to pull the trigger on Plan F later this week. There were some things we needed to get straightened out in order to make everything work. Still, if for some reason it doesn’t happen, then Lee and I will know that it’s because there’s something greater around the bend.