There are two ways to live life. One is to live as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is to live as though everything is a miracle. - Albert Einstein
Sitting at a Starbucks in San Francisco, I find myself amazed that I'm here. The once very shy, introverted, low-self confidence kid, sitting in the middle of a huge and unknown city. I never would have dreamed that this day would come. As I sit here and reminisce, it occurs to me just how little control we have of the future. But more than that, how horribly inaccurate our plans and predictions are/can be.
Take being 25 for instance. When I was young, I thought I'd be married by 25. When I reached high school, I thought (or hoped at least) that I'd have a sports car by 25. When I finished first year, I thought I'd be working on my own, living in Toronto by 25. But here I am, weeks away from turning 25, and my aspirations for marriage are gone. I'm in San Francisco, representing the biggest software company in the world. My aspirations for any car, let alone a sports car are gone. I'm on my 2nd motorcycle, and thinking about a third. I'm thinking about buying a place as soon as possible. How vastly different things are!
Am I just stupid? Am I simply bad at making plans and sticking to them? Well, I'm sure my brother would answer a loud and resounding "yes" to that, but his opinion doesn't count here. Or could it be that people in general are just plain bad at planning, and foreseeing what the future holds?
Perhaps this is why the wise king said to
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding.
In ALL your ways, acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight."
~ Proverbs 3:5-6
He knew that our own ability to plan and understand our surroundings is lacking. So then what do we do? Shall we cease to plan, cease to take action, cease to pursue a dream, a focus for this season of life? Or do we continue onward, doing the best with what we've got, and yet fully realizing that God could change our path in a heartbeat?
Perhaps the purpose of planning is not the planned goal, but the act of planning in and of itself. Lewis asserts in Miracles that the divine spark, the supernatural, the one thing that makes man more, that makes him greater than the birds and beasts is reason. The ability to rationalize. Perhaps the revolutionary ideas of the Age of Enlightenment weren't too far off the mark. Reason reigns supreme. Reason is that which defines us. It is what allows us to understand God, to know Him, and to know His thoughts.
The act of planning, then, is simply an exercise of reason, of judgment, of critical thinking. We may not pick the right paths, and we may not pick the right purposes. But the attempt makes us that much more able to understand both the complexity and the simplicity of God's creation,. It allows us to put the divine gift to good use. It provides opportunities to connect with others. It gives us the journey for us to walk together through. And that is a beautiful thing.
Sitting in this coffee shop, I think I'm beginning to realize just how wired for experience, for interaction, for action we are. Watching the city hurry by, listening to the bustle and chatter of those around me, I'm reminded of how much I love doing this, how much I love being around people.
We weren't made to be alone. We were made to experience relationship. The simple act of sitting here and listening, watching, being surrounded by people - that makes me think, provokes my thoughts, encourages me to dream, to plan, and to reflect.
And those are great things.
I may not know what the future holds. I may be way off in my plans, hopes, and dreams. But one thing I do know is that these things make me human. They allow me to better understand God, and to better experience Him. They teach me compassion and love. They give me hope.
Lets keep dreaming.