One thing I’ve learned

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent, son, co-worker, partner, friend or any other role I play in my daily life, it’s that everything always ends up exactly how God intended.

That isn’t to say we’re all helpless. Sometimes we can direct what happens to us, for God didn’t create a bunch of robots. But when the best-laid plans don’t go as expected, even when the math and science add up perfectly beforehand, there’s not a whole lot we can do about it.

I USED TO GET really bent out of shape before I learned all of this. In theory, for instance, “there’s no way I shouldn’t have won that job” or maintained a successful relationship. I did everything correctly – by the book. I gently boasted my accomplishments with confidence in the interview and took her flowers at work I picked myself. How did I fail?

It’s even worse when it comes to parenting, an area of my life in which I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. I’ve sent my daughter to bed on time, had her clothes and lunch ready the night before and STILL watched her fumble absent-mindedly to get out the door the next morning. There’s no doubt in my mind on these days I’ll read in her agenda that afternoon she wasn’t paying attention or following directions. I began disregarding parenting books long ago. Still, I find myself wondering … why didn’t that work?

It’s not our business why God decided to make us fail at something. Come to think of it, I’m the one who labels an inability to meet a goal “failure.” Maybe that’s where we go wrong. Maybe “failures” are God’s successes.

I ATTRIBUTE MANY of my achievements to goals I did not reach. If I’d won every job for which I applied, I wouldn’t have the good one I now have. My daughter might get reprimanded at school – only occasionally, I swear – for daydreaming, but what if she was drafting the roots to the next great American novel in her head? What if the young woman I gave my everything was taking too much from other areas in my life? Maybe she just wasn’t the right one – for me, my daughter, my family.

That is why I’ve learned to let go of things. It isn’t our job to question God’s work. Maybe we’ll find out when we die that those tacky Facebook postings about footprints and other one-on-one conversations with God during which we find out his reasoning actually happen. Who knows; I sure don’t.

But even if I never, ever know why something happened I believe should have happened, I’ve grown perfectly content being okay with events unfolding exactly as they do.

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