The Best Laid Plans

stocksnap_mgwwjdk49dThere was egg on my face.  Literally.

The day’s schedule was full and my “to do” list was long. I skipped breakfast to get a head start, thinking brunch would be a better choice.  The morning flew and a glance at the clock reminded me that time had arrived.   I decided a couple of microwaved eggs wouldn’t interfere with my progress.  A brush of butter, two eggs, a sprinkle of cheese and, in minutes, I would give my body the protein it need to keep going.

The timer went off.  I placed the steaming bowl on the counter, giving it a moment to rest and grabbed a fork.  The intent was to pierce the surface just enough to check the firmness of the yoke, but the touch of the tines created an explosion, and unsolicited scream, I was sure had been heard around the block!

I was painfully aware eggs were clinging to me and headed to the bathroom to inspect the damage.  Brunch was not only on my face and neck, but in my hair and decorating my brand new sweater.  It was pitiful.  Resolve took over:  “Clean your face, change your sweater and see what you can do to remove the food imbedded in your clothing”, I instructed myself.  It became obvious that I would need to treat and soak the new addition to my wardrobe.  So, I headed to the laundry room and submerged my sweater in soapy water before heading back to assess the kitchen damage.  Egg shrapnel was everywhere.  The walls and cabinets were plastered and the ceiling dripped with stalagmite formations of cheesy egg.  Who knew two eggs could cover so much space?  My “to do” list grew.

Little by little, evidence of my quick brunch was cleared from the kitchen.  I pulled the stopper from the sink and, as it drained, I heard an unfamiliar gurgling sound from the laundry room.   I went down to investigate and, behold, my soaking new sweater was covered with nothing short of bilge water.  The drains, which had been professionally cleaned just a few weeks earlier had backed up into the utility tub.  I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to complete my “to do” list.

The plumber arrived later that afternoon, apologetic and assuring me he would find the problem.  This visit, he brought a tiny camera that scoped the inside of the pipes as he flushed water through them.  Three quarters of the way through this plumbing colonoscopy, he found what he was looking for.  A tile had broken near the foundation of the house and the pipe feeding to the main line had shifted.  Excavation and replacement was my only option.  The quote caused me to long for the trivial challenge of exploding eggs.  I threw my “to do” list in the trash.

Life is going to deliver the unexpected.  That’s a given.  But the manner in which we respond is a choice.  We can become rattled or we can find rest.  It all depends upon whom we rely.

Proverbs 16:9 says “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”  I believe that.  I have come to understand that God is involved in the details.  From the tiny and insignificant to the large and consequential, He is with us.

Had I not been faced with the domino effects of my day, I would have been unaware of the serious problem that lurked below the surface of my home.  I would have been happily checking off the boxes of my “to do” list while the foundation of my home continued to hemorrhage.   Human plans can often be short-sighted, but the Lord sees all things from afar and loves us enough to redirect our steps for good reason.

That’s true whether the foundational cracks are physical or spiritual.  Whether they are discovered in a home, a life or a nation, Jesus is the One who directs our steps and speaks peace into our circumstances.

Knowing that when life explodes and plans are trashed makes all the difference in the world.

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