I’m a strange hybrid of organization and spontaneity. It’s quite annoying actually - I can plan for any event, but then I’m fine with erasing it all and winging my way through it. My agenda is color-coded, yet I can go weeks with not writing anything down to just go with the flow. Is there a word for that? Impromture. A mix between impromptu and adventure. I should consult with Webster’s Dictionary on that later.
This has made for some stressful days in my life. If something is not going the way I strategically planned in my head, I can get frustrated. If something is too structured with no room for creativity, I can get caught up in all the spontaneous opportunities I’m missing. What’s a good balance between all that? I never really noticed my decision making process through these situations until a few years ago, when I actually started to think about who I wanted to be as a person.
Junior Year in high school was the year when I really felt myself start to mature emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I’ve always been independent (first-born child over here) and was very aware of how my actions affected others. But, when I was 17, I really started to see how my life choices would affect my future. I was becoming more involved in school, taking on more responsibilities, growing closer to some great friends, and my future college/career goals truly started to narrow in. These were all great, but if it wasn’t for God, it all would have fallen through.
You see, I never thought I would have done half the things I did. They were outgoing and risky, but I had a feeling I should do them, like turning in that leadership application or not giving up on Twitter (I seriously thought I was never going to get more than 10 followers.) I started to see that God had this beautiful, messy, and adventurous plan all laid out for me…I just needed to trust Him. There was no way I could do all these plans by myself. It didn’t matter how much I believed in myself, every single thing would have failed. When flesh is in any plan, it’s forced. But when God is in it, it flows. When you recognize God’s grace in every aspect of your life, you can begin to see how things will all work out in spite of yourself.
However, I quickly learned that my trust in God cannot be conditional. It can’t be, “I totally trust You God, but only if I get a bid to that sorority” or “If You get me out of this speeding ticket, I will trust You even more.” The thing is, God is always good and we need to trust that. I can come up with countless lists of things that will make my life better, but ultimately God knows what is best. I want to wake up tomorrow with a 4.0 GPA, but if not, He is still good.
But if not, He is still good. For the past 3 years, after every prayer, that is what I say. But if not, He is still good. If I didn’t get the job I wanted, He is still good. If a family member gets sick, He is still good. In any situation, good or bad, God is still good.
When something gets tough, Christians say “Trust in God” and that is absolutely true. But I think we can forget to acknowledge that our prayers may not be answered the way we prayed them. We can walk around all day, thinking that God will grant us every wish our hearts make and help us pass every exam we take. But then, if it doesn’t go the way we think, we get angry and confused as to why God didn’t help us out. In a world that screams, “What God could save you from the disappointments and trials of this life?!”, we can confidently reply, “We serve the God whose grace saves us all.” God doesn’t promise to rescue us from every dark path we encounter, but promises to walk with us every step of the way.
“But if not, He is still good” has forced me to recognize the chance that my plans and prayers may not fit into God’s plan. This mindset has completely changed the way I live my life because in every situation, no matter the outcome, I know that God is still good. I no longer think that God does what He does simply because it’s part of His plan, but He does it because He is good. And that is the perfect peace I have to continue on with my “impromture” plans.