When I first came to Nigeria, I noticed that many people ended their sentences about future plans with 'God willing.' I thought it strange that the tailor would say, "I'll have your dresses ready in 2 weeks, God willing." In my mind I was thinking Just get it done on time, ok?
I do enjoy making plans, but I am learning a lot about surrendering those plans to God. A few weeks ago I was having an awful time because my daily plans were not working out at all. I would start the day with Plan A, but by the end of the day it was pretty close to Plan J, and I was completely frustrated. Through this, I became aware that God is more concerned about how I react to changes in my plans than to whether the plan works the way I want it to. That was a humbling lesson to hear. I can't say 'learn' because unfortunately I haven't learned it yet. I'm just aware that I need to learn it.
We tend to have a fair amount of external factors that are beyond our control so it's actually quite easy for plans to go awry.
Friday morning I was up early, handling a bit of email, getting ready for a normal workday. Suddenly all plans came to a halt as I started receiving text messages and phone calls about chaos in Jos. It became obvious that ALL plans were going to change that day.
I was hoping to attend a ladies' brunch on Saturday. No way.
We had planned to attend a 4 hour Thanksgiving service at our church on Sunday. Then later in the afternoon, we were planning to attend another Thanksgiving service for a newly married couple. All of those plans have now been cast aside.
Maybe it's not such a bad idea to tack 'God willing' on the end of my future plans. I just don't want to become fatalistic in my thinking. Maybe I can put it this way: I'll work as hard as I can in the work God has called me to do, and if plans change along the way, I'll ride out the adventure and see what God has in store.