God only knows
God makes his plan
The information’s unavailable
To the mortal man
We’re working our jobs
Collect our pay
Believe we’re gliding down the highway
When in fact we’re slip slidin’ away
— Paul Simon
One thing about “Yours for the Journey” is that it’s a journey. Life is a journey, and two things are important about that: 1) We are going somewhere; 2) We’re not there yet.
We are going somewhere. Life has meaning. It has a purpose and a destination. We are not aimlessly wandering. We are not drifters. We are not slip-sliding away.
Paul Simon had it right. God has a plan; the information is not available to us, but that doesn’t mean we don’t work the plan. We are finding out as we go. We dream dreams and make plans to get there, knowing that getting there may not be exactly as we planned. Nevertheless, we are working the plan.
There is a Proverb which states: “A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). It’s a pretty simple statement with a paradox built into it. It is good and appropriate for us to make a plan and set out to follow it, as long as we realize that the Lord is directing us as we go, and where He is taking us is according to His plan, not ours, so we may or may not get there the way we thought we would.
Chandler amazes me in that he has had a plan for his life for a few years now, and he’s been dead set on working his plan. He’s 15 years old. The concept of having a plan for my life wasn’t even in my mind at fifteen. Believe me, spending time in a Residential Treatment Center was not a part of Chandler’s plan. However, it’s definitely a part of God’s plan. We know that now. And in the conversations we have had over the last three weeks since he found that out, Chandler has already altered his plan. His current plan will have to be altered a little bit more, since it has him coming home a lot sooner than his program stipulates. But I can say this: that his new plan is a lot better than the old one. We can start to see how God is directing his steps already. Chandler’s on a journey. He’s going somewhere. He’s not there yet.
My son, Chandler, is teaching me something. I need to have a plan. Whether I know it’s God’s plan or not, it doesn’t matter; I still need to have a plan. Chandler is way ahead of me in this. I don’t like plans. Plans entail making up your mind about what you’re going to do and I don’t like to do that. I like to keep my options open until the circumstances dictate what I have to do. Now some of this flexibility is necessary in that our plan may have to be altered, but to not make any plan at all is to be foolish.
We are on a journey. We are going somewhere, and since we’re not there yet, we need a plan for how we’re going to get there. One of my favorite parts about a road trip is marking out a route ahead of time. Funny: I love to do this with a road trip; I just don’t like doing it with my life. Maybe I need to think of my life as more of a road trip.
Besides, Joel prophesied that in these last days, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28). Now, I’m reluctant to call myself an old man, but I am most certainly not a young man, which would make me closer to being a dreamer than a visionary. Marti will like this. She loves to dream.
We’re on a journey. We’re going somewhere. We’re not there yet. Use your mind to make a plan, and get going. The rest is up to God, and that’s the adventure.
I’m John Fischer, and speaking as well for my wife, Marti, we’re yours for the journey.