Not my ways

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

– Woody Allen

I don’t really believe that. To me, it portrays God as cruel and vindictive.

For the record, I also don’t get my theology from Woody Allen.

Still, the sentiment fits, at least for today.

Let me explain.

Faithful readers (you know how I adore you), will recall that I’ve been barreling through 2017 with multiple goals and projects. True, the primary focus is writing and health, and it remains thus. But I’ve had my hands full with projects and events and happenings and opportunities.

You also know that for about a month now I’ve been working a seven-day week with my day job and my weekend job at the amusement park.

So, I knew that the only chance I had to get my yard under control for the spring, and, to be quite honest, get up the rest of last fall’s leaves, was to take a week of vacation and do just that.

I had it all mapped out. Paperwork and writing in the morning. Yard work in the afternoon. By mid-to-late summer we’d be enjoying the flower garden and the birds, and maybe even the new fire pit.

Monday turned out just fine. Tuesday was rainy, but hey, I had three more days.

Until I didn’t.

I’ll spare you the play by play. The bottom line is that I had the flu. And really the play by play for the next four days consisted of me managing to make it from the bed to the chair and when needed, to the necessary room. The fever hovered somewhere between 100° and 102°.

If you know me at all, you’ll understand the severity when I tell you that I wasn’t able to read or even sit up at the computer screen. I realize I may look like a sedinterian, but even when I’m not moving, I’m generally working on something.

Not this week.

Friday night I finally broke down and let the wife take me to Patient First where they confirmed that it was the flu and not something that could be treated with an antibiotic.

I was briefly chastised when I said “no, I didn’t get a flu shot.” But reality is, I can’t recall the last time I had a flu shot, and the last time I had the flu was a long time before that. So, let’s just not have that debate. I have my own reasons for distrusting pharmaceuticals. Even after the past week, I’m not getting a flu shot.

As I write this, I am mostly on the mend.

So, here I am at the end of five non-productive days when I really can’t afford five non-productive hours. I’ve lost three days of annual leave, two days of work at the park, and I had to cancel my participation in a collaborative theatre work.

I could whine about it. And I probably will for a bit. But, I’m not going to get that time back.

When events like this happen and my plans are derailed, I usually go back to one of my favorite Tolkien quotes:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

So, my list didn’t get any shorter, my yard didn’t get any prettier, and my taxes still aren’t filed.

Those things will get done. Just perhaps not in my time frame.

I don’t think God is laughing at that. But, while I don’t think he necessarily chose to smite me with the flu, maybe he didn’t think my having to slow down was such a bad thing.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9


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    • Beth Dunnavant on April 3, 2017 at 6:40 am

    The entire time I was reading this I was thinking about how on those rare times I get so sick that I’m in the bed and stay there for days, at the end even though things didn’t get done and plans were changed, I’ll have to admit that I may have needed to slow down. I’m with you, I’m not sure that God makes me sick to slow me down, but He probably uses that down time to show me something I needed to slow down and see. Glad you are feeling better!

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