Planned Surprises

Those of us who have traveled a bit, particularly for pleasure, may have mixed emotions as to the whole process. Passports, lines, delays, and frustrated expectations often take the edge off our enjoyment. We have had our share of the above, but we have always been seriously committed to advance planning that makes much of it easier. Usually with a tight budget, we always needed a plan B. In many ways the planning was as important as the journey. Perhaps this is your experience as well. The more surprises… the more setbacks.

We can also agree that there is often joy in surprises, but it is the surprise that disturbs the plan that we have trouble with. Keeping things basic and sticking to the plan or sequence seemed to work for us. Our choice in Europe was a Euro-Pass, in that we could get on and off the train at will, and everything was paid for up front, and with unlimited use. Every destination had at least two unreserved options for lodgings. We took things as they came but did the research. Everything was carried on our back and weighed no more than 30 lbs.

It is that same affinity for predictability that most of us carry through life. We plan for the important things; school and marriage, homes and children, jobs and vacations. retirement and finally, leaving this world behind with some kind of “grace and dignity’. We all have a different criteria for what that is.

It is not strange that our spiritual journey is something like the above; except it is about the destination more than the journey. We count our success upon how we have structured our lives. We experience in life the same myriad of frustrations and often rise above them with a plan B: often hardly of our own invention, but of His. The Holy Spirit would not relish the  idea of being compared with a EuroRail pass, but knowing Christ paid for all our life’s excursions, He sees that we get back on track without having to wait for checked baggage. We carry the things we need with us at all times. He sees that it is not  more than we can carry.

As to the journey itself; Our map is the Holy Word of God ….. infallible and accurate to the last detail; from the plain to promontory. We are always able to venture into the unpredictable knowing the predictability of His Grace and Love. No one but He, at times, is carrying our baggage for us; then only briefly. Whatever place we find ourselves, there is one universal language to carry us through and communicate. He is the translator- interpreter.

When we come to the point when our earthly travel days end, and as we anticipate our last trip the checklist must be clear.

Have we studied the map ( Word) thoroughly and navigated by it?

Is our ticket He purchased for us one-way?

We have packed nothing. Everything we need is there.

We have booked only one destination and discarded our Photo-ID. To be recognized only as “Good and Faithful”.

We then may be “Surprised by Joy” because of His Plan for us.


About 4hispraise

I am quite simply a child of our Lord God. What good that I have done or may do, I pray will reflect solely on the presence of The Holy Spirit who speaks for me in all things.

1 Response to Planned Surprises

  1. ptl2010 says:

    Love this blog as I can identify so much with all that is written. Thank you UM.

    Being in the present mode of planning my upcoming trip to the Holy Land, I wonder what surprises there will be. Yet memories come flooding back at the pleasant surprises I have encountered with people I have met through the years – like the little five year old blind boy entrusted to my care on a Trailways bus along a country road in the USA more than thirty years ago – it was only for one hour, five bus stops away, but I felt his fear as his icy hand was clasped in mine, a total stranger , the only other passenger on board the bus. It was his first day at a new school and his mom could not accompany him as she had to take care of two other younger siblings. I was to ensure he got off the bus at the right bus stop and to hand him over to his new teacher for

    I have met many helpful strangers who helped me witness the first shuttle flight launch from the Space Centre in Florida, and the first Concord flight out of the UK , and many other enjoyable experiences apart from conducted tours all over Europe and the Asia Pacific countries on weekend escapades.

    And of course, I have the very memorable friends I have met, whom I treasure not just in memory but are fellow pilgrims to our heavenly home, with whom we can share woes and blessings, encouraging and praying for one another, striving together to leave examples of lives worth living for Jesus and touching lives with the love of Jesus, and then finally to reach our destination home faithful to our Lord, to the very end of our sojourn here.

    I remember also the many storms I have been through and can testify, with Christ in the vessel we can smile at the storms as we go sailing home. Praise The Lord.

    Praise God, He has plans for each of our journey here and with Him for all eternity.

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