I recently asked a friend of mine, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" I got the standard answer - how he saw himself advancing in his job, the status of his children, the hopes for his relationships. Then he asked me the same question, and I replied, "We plan, and God laughs."
Because it's true.
If you would have told me five years ago that I would be divorced, unemployed, and struggling to get my own writing business off the ground while single parenting two young boys, I wouldn't have believed you. But here I am. If you would have told me I'd be doing all these aforementioned things and still be happy, I'd have laughed in your face.
Yet here I am.
And it made me think - God DOES laugh at our best-laid plans. We can have the best of intentions. You might say, "In five years, I'll be the senior VP of a major company, happily married and independently wealthy." But in those five years, your company may downsize you and you might find yourself in a completely different field of work. Your relationships with your spouse, or a lifelong friend, or a family member may have hit a speed bump and be in turmoil. You may have suffered a financial setback - whether that be the stock market taking a dump, an unforeseen medical bill, or just this damn recession.
But just because God is laughing doesn't mean you can't laugh right along with him.
Oh, it's OK to have goals - it's good to have goals. But you must have the internal flexibility to realize that "life stability" is an oxymoron, and you have to be ready to roll with the punches.
I try to look at it this way: they're not obstacles, these curve balls that life throws you. They're challenges. For every "failure", a lesson is learned. Every door that slams in your face jars another one open. You just have to SEE it, and be open to it.
Where will I be in five years? Who knows. Will I still be in this house? Probably not, but possibly. Will I be working for a company or working for myself? Only time will tell. Will I be single or married? That's the $64,000 question. And don't even get me started on where my kids will be in five years. I can't even imagine.
My point is this: Yes, we plan, and God laughs. He's the pitcher, and we're up to bat. It's up to us to decide if we're going to swing at his curve ball, or let it go by and hope the next pitch is the one we hit out of the park.