I had an interesting dream last night. Well, pieces of a dream - you know how that goes.
Robin Roberts and her lovely sisters, Sally-Ann and Dorothy were at my door, asking if I was ready to go to dinner. I was in work clothes...clearly not ready.
We will come back to this in a bit.
Yesterday I had the luxury of a few hours to work in the yard. Straightened landscape edging, made spot repairs to the grass, dug weeds, cleaned a couple flower beds - normal "spring" things. Also requires little thought, which allows great praying and mind-wandering time.
This is the 13th spring we have been in this house. I looked around the yard and the neighborhood and thought about how much has changed.
Changed about the yard? Sure. I had a vision for the landscaping when we moved in. In many ways, I have worked that plan. Then changed it.
Changed about the neighborhood? A bit. Some new neighbors. Kids grown.
Changes about life? Absolutely. Many changes.
How about you? Lots of changes in the last 13 years?
I walked through my yard and laughed some tears thinking about how silly we are when we believe anything about this life is in our control. Even when we have good plans. Even when what happens is good.
Thirteen years ago, I developed a picture of my yard in my head. As I set it in motion, some of the plants either didn't work where I planted them, or didn't look the way I envisioned. So I changed the plan. Moved flowers, dug new beds, moved flowers again. Plan B then C then...I think I am on Plan F now.
That is what we do, if we are going to be happy and healthy...we change the plan.
In the past 13 years, people have left my life. Some to be with Jesus. Some just because.
I have many new people I cherish so deeply. People I didn't know existed in 2000. And now I love them dearly.
I started a job, ended that job and started a new career path.
Was rescued by a dog who owns my heart.
Been through very dark times...a very good times.
And none of it could have been imagined 13 years ago.
The most predictable thing about life is that it is completely unpredictable. We want certain things to change and they don't. We want other things to stay the same and they don't. We want out days to go according to schedule and they don't.
We think we always know what is favorable and what isn't...and we don't.
Do you understand...or is it just me?
“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.” Robert Frost
TRUTH right there.
Life rarely turns out the way we imagined - daily, weekly, yearly.
Even when we execute well-made plans, even when our dreams come true, it doesn't look exactly as we imagined.
But it goes on.
Ask Robin Roberts about a vision changing. In 2004, her bright star was on the rise at ABC, after 15 years at ESPN. Since then, she has lost both of her beloved parents, helped her family and her home state of Mississippi recover from Hurricane Katrina, survived breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndromes AND shared her journey with her television audience. But through it all, the Good Morning America team has overtaken the number one spot on morning television.
More importantly, Robin has continued to love her God, to embrace life, to LIVE life.
Robin Roberts set out to be a sportscaster. Now she is a role model, an inspiration to so many and was recently named the Most Trusted Person on Television by Reader's Digest.
Could she see any of that coming? Unlikely.
No matter what, Robin goes on.
We all do. The question is, how well? How joyfully? How purposefully? How lovingly?
We have the choice - every day, every hour. Bitter or better? Joyful or miserable? Loving or nasty?
Sure, life hurts. Of course it does. But it hurts for everyone. Hardships are no respecters of anyone.
And it doesn't turn out the way we planned.
So what are you going to do? Pout? Be less than you can be? Wallow under the hurt?
Or go on?
Back to my dream ...I have been blessed to have occasional email contact and a brief meeting with Robin and email with Sally-Ann. Both are incredibly genuine. The woman you see on GMA each morning is the same Robin her friends and neighbors see - kind, caring, the real deal.
In my mind... no, in my PLANS this dream becomes reality. Robin, her sisters and I WILL have dinner.
Maybe it will look like I imagine. Robin or Sally-Ann or Dorothea will read this blog and laugh and say, Dinner it is!!
Or maybe it won't look the same. Maybe they won't come to my house. Maybe we will happen to choose the same restaurant when I am in New York next. Maybe we will run into each other in a grocery store on the Upper West Side...or on the pier while she walks KJ.
In any case, I am going to hold it in my heart and picture it in my mind...just like I do other plans I have.
Plans are certainly necessary. I work toward my plans. I pray. I believe.
And I understand that my God, who knows all and sees the beginning and the end, has the best plans.
Everything, everything, EVERY.THING. can work together for my good...if I allow it...if I trust...if I can let go.
Will you join me?
Very few things about life will look the way you imagine.
Really. It's true.
Accept that and live. LIVE. OUT LOUD. JOYFULLY. Today.
We will talk again soon...
ps I will let you know when I hear from Robin...