I remember in the lovely movie Mr Holland's Opus there was a quote from John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" to the effect that "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." I've never been a serious Beatles devotee but like quite a few Lennon songs, and this quote has stayed with me for a long time.
Friday felt a lot like that quote. I arrived home from work to find that hubby and small daughter had decided that they had had enough of the nasty yellow wallpaper that has "decorated" our living room since we bought this house, and had torn it all down, preparatory to hubby beginning to prep it for painting. So I'm sitting in the living room for what's probably the last time for a few weeks looking at the stripped walls - tomorrow we will be moving some of the lounge suite into the dining room along with the TV (ugh - don't do TV in the dining room but no choice here), while the rest of the furniture is wrapped and moved to allow room for decorating. Goodbye peace, hello chaos! It always amazes me how chaos in one room manages to spread throughout the house.... I will do my best to contain it but we've been here before - at least it will be worth it when we're finished. No more hideous yellow peeling paper. No more even more hideous 70s brown pendant lightshades (ewwww). No more nasty brown fire surround (I've already painted this storm-grey and it looks amazing).
Thinking about life and other plans has also got me thinking about the way that things interrupt our tidy plans. Earlier this week, I spoke to someone who had discovered that a close family member has been diagnosed with cancer in multiple locations. The prognosis is pretty grim. Their whole world, their plans, their tidy lives, have been disrupted, destroyed, by the news. Life interrupted their other plans. There wasn't much I could do except pray, and help out where possible.
I felt this interruption myself slightly this week. I had another one of the interminable tests - an EEG this time (mostly to rule out unpleasant possibilities that the doctors don't think are that likely) - but lurking behind my cheerful chat with the tech who ran the test was the fear that there would indeed be something nasty that would interrupt life even more than usual.
It brings me back to an old, old custom I used to see occasionally (and very rarely still see written) - the initials D.V. after someone outlines a plan or an idea. Deus Volt, if God wills - the Arabic equivalent is Inshallah - we plan, we have ideas, we go where we think we are supposed to, but all of it rests only and totally in the hands of God. I know this in myself: dealing with chronic pain, one of the things I have had to learn is to work within my strength: not the strength of the good days, but the strength of the bad ones, so that I can slowly help myself build up my stamina and work within my capabilities - including not tiring myself too much so that I have a bad day after a good one....!
I am planning my work year and getting things done. But I know that whatever plans I have made, God has better ones, and sometimes my plans may not line up. I pray that they do - I pray and I work and I hope - but I wait and see. On this day when we remember the Presentation of the baby Jesus in the temple, Simeon took the baby in his arms and outlined God's plan that Jesus be a light to the Gentiles and the glory of his people Israel. I hope that whatever plans I make bring a light and God's glory, whatever and wherever I am. Deus Volt.