Think for a moment about a time in your life when everything went according to plan.
I’ll wait for you to stop laughing….
Life doesn’t really go the way I’d thought it would go. Pretty often. I need look no further than my own two feet (now finally out of the aircast boot!!) to be reminded that the best approach to life is one of improvisation. Denial = misery (I’ve been there soooooooo many times). It’s painful (literally).
As I pour over this book and the dissolution of my own plans, I’ve been struck by its connection to Pentecost – the holy day we celebrated at church last Sunday. Pentecost – when the Spirit came roaring in as wind and fire – happened when everything had just gone off the rails for the disciples.
They’d faithfully followed Jesus for years, only to have him suddenly crucified. Wait! He’s back?! That was a close call! But then, he starts speaking things about empowerment and all of this “you are my messenger” stuff before poofing into the air (cue: Ascension Sunday).
It’s when the disciples are called to improvise and do something new (amid a lot of fears!) that the Holy Spirit breaks in with all her gifts, creating a path forward in the transitional time before them.
Here’s a prayer for when Plan A doesn’t happen (or B, C, D…..need I say more?)
Spirit of Surprise and Faithfulness,
As I encounter what I didn’t expect to face,
I need your help.
When life feels out of control (my control!),
When my normal coping mechanisms
aren’t available this time around…
When the overarching question is,
What do I do now?
Your reassuring, Spirit-filled wind comes
blowing at my back,
telling me I’m not alone,
that you will fill me with
everything I need to take on what’s next
and do the things I didn’t think possible.
That you are the master Improvisor…
And I will learn too.
This is how you do it….
yes and yes and yes and yes….
Help me ride
the current of this
Use this change in plans to be a change in heart,
that I might not move forward with a dead soul,
clinging to what’s known, but no longer there…
Open my heart to what you will do in
this pocket of open space between
before and after.
(Even if this involves a lot of blowing around and burning)
Today, I say yes and yes and yes and yes…