The Plan

 

Yesterday, Lilli and I went exploring.

She was excited to roam around and brought a little bag in which to put treasures that she might find along the way. It was afternoon, just before a rain system moved in, so the air was very still and warm.

We went to visit my tree, then cut across the middle of the property to cross the dam, since the pond actually has water in it right now. There were two of our horses in the very back pasture, and Lilli wanted to see them.

I noticed that she was dragging a little, and finally, once we got all the way back there, she said, “Mimmie, my feets are hurting. I need you to carry me back home.”

Looking way up the hill, across several acres to the roof of my house, I answered, “Sweetheart, Mimmie can’t carry you that far. I’m afraid we’re going to have to walk back.”

“I’m hot, Mimmie. And my feets…they’re hurting!”

She gave me her best pitiful face for effect.

When I reiterated that I couldn’t carry her that far, and told her that we just needed to start walking, she dug in. I’d seen that look before. Girlfriend is nothing, if not determined.

“Mimmie, I have a plan. It’s a good plan, and we need to do it my way.”

Trying to hide my smile, I said, “You do, huh? What’s your plan?”

“I will wait here, while you go get the little truck (a Mule), and come back for me.”

Obviously, I would not leave her alone in the middle of the back pasture with two horses, but I played along.

“Well, that’s a fine plan, but if we do it that way, we won’t be back up there in time for you to ride with Maddie, when she gets home. If we both start walking now, we’ll be back in time for you to have something cold to drink, and even rest your feet for a few minutes. But it’s up to you.”

Crickets.

More crickets.

Big sigh on her part, then she walked toward me, resigned, grabbed my hand and said, “Let’s go.”

And off we went.

A few minutes later, she looked up and said, “I choosed Maddie. Was that a good decision?”

(Making “good decisions” is the very heart of her discipline right now.)

“Yes. You made a sacrifice. Do you know what that is?”

“No.”

“A sacrifice is when you do something you don’t really want to do, for someone you love. You love Maddie, and you wanted to be with her more than you wanted to wait for a ride back to the house, so you made a sacrifice.”

“Oh. Well, sometimes a sacrifice may be a good decision, but it is still a hard decision.”

Ladies and gentlemen, is that not the gospel truth?

I cannot tell you how often, even still, at the ripe old age of 51, I dig in my heels, fists tight around my own plan. I have myself convinced that it’s the best plan and that all the world, and the One who holds it, should acquiesce to it immediately.

Until that same One holding the world, shows me the merits of His way, or maybe He doesn’t, at all, just asking me to trust Him. And there I stand, in the midst of crickets chirping the day and night away, making my decision.

I wish I could tell you that I always end up walking up to Him to grab His hand and say, “Let’s go,” but I don’t. I don’t always make the good decision, and sacrifice out of love for Him.

And when I don’t?

The sacrifice is always the blessing that could’ve been mine.

My darling Lilli, may you always make the good decision to sacrifice your plan for the Better Plan.

Even when it’s the hard decision.

Even if your feets hurt so bad you feel like you can’t walk another step.

Because if you do? He’s absolutely strong enough to carry you.

 

And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy—the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you. ~ Romans 12:1-2 TLB

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