As Eunice and I approached our 40th wedding anniversary we decided to celebrate by going on a cruise to Alaska. As you can imagine it took a lot of planning and preparation (all done by Eunice I hasten to add). We were thrilled to see in the itinerary that on the actual day we could book a helicopter ride to the top of a glacier, have a walk around, and enjoy a husky dog sled ride. We thought this would be a special, unique way of celebrating the day!
Eunice planned it all and on the day itself we excitedly boarded our coach and travelled to the heliport where we received our Health and Safety lecture, signed our consent forms, and proceeded outside to be kitted out with our snow shoes. It was then that a lady emerged from the office and shared the news that the clouds had descended and the flight was cancelled. On the coach journey back to the ship Eunice and I shared how disappointed we were and on reflection Eunice looked at me and said “Oh well, at least it will make a good sermon illustration”.
And as usual Eunice is right, it got me thinking that it was a good example of how we should live our Christian life. Firstly, it is important to think through and decide how we will use our time, energy and resources. Secondly, it is vital to put our plans into action by making sure the idea can turn into reality. The third aspect is a tricky one because it involves trusting in God and accepting the outcome even if it doesn’t work out as we had imagined or hoped.
We had planned and prepared our trip expecting to have a wonderful outcome. After the initial disappointment we agreed that it would have been dangerous to attempt the flight and although naturally disappointed at the time, upon reflection the right decision was made.
As we look towards the future of Palace Avenue and try to discern where God is leading us, it is important that we plan and prepare with the hope that great things will happen. But at the same time we need to realise that the potential is in God’s hands and as our loving Heavenly Father he will guide us according to his wisdom and authority. If we sincerely plan and prepare for something that we believe will be successful but would actually in effect be harmful or wrong we should rejoice if God steps in and acts with our best interests in mind.
I aim to plan and prepare with the expectation that the potential outcome will be great but also trusting in God to help me accept the outcome, whatever that may be. How about you?