Coco Calling No. 106 - When Things Don’t Go As Planned…….
Sometimes, things don’t work out in quite the way we had planned. Take, for example, this kitchen, where I spend a large part of my day. My owner’s wife likes it to be clean, tidy and clutter-free. But my owner grows lots of plants each year, and so between February and May, part of it’s invaded by a battalion of Triffids. Some big, some small, some common, some rare. But all of them invading her space until the last of the frosts have past outside.
Now my owner has removed them all, and planted them in the garden. His wife is delighted! But so are countless pheasants, rabbits, and snails that have suddenly merged forces to move in for a tasty treat. And now it’s my owner’s turn to feel frustrated……
Our best made plans don’t always work out as we’d wish. And that’s true of so much of Life. Our relationships, our careers, our health and our dreams…….. And when that happens, it’s all too easy for us to complain, (or, in the case of parrots, “screech.”) Because “this isn’t right” or “that’s not right”, or because it’s simply “not fair!”
But whether you’re a parrot or a human, something we all have to learn in life is how to overcome adversity, disillusionment, and disappointment. Sometimes, it’s down to us to change the way we view things. To become more realistic or flexible in our expectations. Or we may simply choose to soldier on, believing that with some determination, we’ll eventually achieve what we want.
The journey of our Christian faith can be like this. Sometimes we march into it with unrealistic expectations, and receive a sharp “reality check” that changes our inner thinking. And sometimes, when God seems distant, and things are going wrong for us, we need to tough it out in the belief that we’ll emerge on the other side as stronger, wiser and more trusting Christians. Maybe even remoulded or reshaped. It must have been like that for so many of Jesus’ disciples. And the one thing that got them through was their extraordinary faith. The sheer belief that come what may, they would eventually emerge on the other side, in a place where all would be well.
And as the Coronavirus causes havoc all around the world, it’s good for humans to adopt this mind-set. They may have lost loved ones. They may have lost their jobs. They may be in serious financial trouble. Their holiday plans and all kinds of other hopes and aspirations may have been put on hold. But just as with our Christian life, everyone will eventually emerge on the other side. And when that happens, many will see things very differently, and some may have discovered God. It doesn’t matter what this worldly existence throws at us, the love of God and the promise of Heaven will always be there for every one of us…….. So long as we choose to accept them both…..
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…..” (Philippians 4:12)
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.” (John 5:4a)
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)