I woke up in the morning to the news that Delta airlines had an outage that impacted all of their flights. I was in California and needed to be at work across the country the next day. My thoughts were along the lines of “I tried to be responsible planning a flight that got me home early and look what happens” (A little dramatic and self-centered at the time I admit, but hey, I was barely awake). As we shuffled around the house trying to come up with a plan, while my flight kept getting delayed further and further, it was decided to quickly switch my flight to the next one out from LAX and cross our fingers that I would make it out at the designated time.
“People plan their path, but the Lord secures their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Now a number of things the rest of the day could’ve continued to go wrong. Traffic to LAX could’ve been awful, security lines could’ve been insane, the flight could’ve kept getting delayed, my two-hour drive from the airport back to my house could’ve been filled with bad weather. I prepared myself for each of the previously mentioned situations to occur, reminding myself things could be worse. I got to the airport with usual traffic, breezed through security, walked onto my flight at the specified boarding time and landed back on the east coast three hours earlier than if I had stayed on my original flight and the outage had not occurred at all. I arrived home early enough to say goodnight to my family I hadn’t seen in weeks. I was able to unpack, clean, prepare for the week ahead, and still get a full night of sleep before work the next morning. Only a small number of the thousands of scheduled flights successfully made it out of the airport that day and mine was one of them.
I woke up anxious and concerned, and went to sleep calm and at peace.
“Be patient, God isn’t finished with you just yet.” Philippians 1:6
I laid in bed that night thanking God for getting me home safely and going through my usual set of prayers. I couldn’t help but to ask Him ‘why’ He picked today to teach me a valuable lesson. Not only that, but what was the lesson I was supposed to get from the chaos? I could almost hear Him say “Emily, I know what is best. Sometimes you make a plan and think that it is best for you, but I know what should be”.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” Proverbs 19:21
Planner. Calendar. Agenda. Schedule. There are many words used for those pocket notebooks that we carry around physically or on our phones.
Now, I love schedules. As a very involved high school student, college student, and now young adult in the ‘real world’, I love being busy and involved in different activities. To make sure I don’t miss a beat, I create schedules. Every morning I wake up and check my planner for what is going on during the week. After, write out a to-do list and schedule for the current day in a notebook that goes everywhere with me. There’s just something about my little blue note book and checking each task off as it gets completed that makes me feel put together and accomplished.
This doesn’t mean I’m not flexible – I know plans change and life happens (I just prefer to keep everything written down right in front of me). I can adjust accordingly after reevaluating what needs to be moved where and if something needs to be pushed to a later day. That’s the thing about plans. We try to make decisions and plan accordingly, adapting as the day goes on, but only He can truly know what is best and what should be. One thing that might be a top priority in our minds may not be even close to what God sees for us. He has the ultimate daily planner. Sometimes we need to take a step back and let God work through us. When you perceive things as going astray, remind yourself that something greater is happening and embrace the lessons coming your way. God won’t lead you off of the path you are supposed to be on.
“But me? I trust you, Lord. I affirm you are my God.” Psalm 31:14
~ Emily Oulton