Lists, we all make them. Short lists. Long lists. Lists for groceries arranged in particular segments for dairy, meat, vegetables and so on. Lists for parties, who will be invited; what we will serve; how we will decorate. In short, we make a lot of lists to get us through life.
The list that amazes me the most of all is the one that we all seem to carry around somewhere in our mind, some of us even write it down somewhere where only we can see it, this is the life list.
Now I know that people make a life list so they have something to aim for, goals to shoot for, a roadmap of life to follow. The thing that amazes me about this list is what it represents, the presumption that we have some ultimate control over our lives.
The list of life usually has some pretty big goals to hit on it including graduations from high school then university; jobs progressing from good to better; marriage – hopefully just one ; houses; children; wealth building including savings, retirements packages; and sometimes even places to see and things to do – the well-known bucket list.
A roadmap of life to follow is a great thing to think about and a good starting point because we should be stewards of all that God has given us.
But, anyone who has any age to them at all knows that no matter how well planned your life list, no matter how you map out your life, at some point your life is going to take a turn off the path that you intended. That turn could be early on or later, but have no doubt it will happen.
Sometimes God uses – or orchestrates - these turns off the path we have prepared for ourselves to show us where we should actually go – look at the story of Joseph – or to reveal Himself . The problem is that many times we are so preoccupied with the fact that somehow our life has deviated from our list, that all we can focus on is our attempt, no matter how futile, to get back on track with how we think things should be.
In those moments of intense focus to realign our life path with what we think it should be, many times we don’t take the time to look up and see the path that He has laid out for us, which may be very different from the path that we have made up for ourselves.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9