Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Change in Plans

There was an interesting little article in our newspaper this morning about a deer, so I chose this picture I'd taken of a herd of deer a few years ago in Yorktown, Virginia.  They're daintily nibbling at the winter grass in the late afternoon and I like the way the dark and light blend in the picture.

Back to the article:  Here is a situation where a 71-year old woman gets in her SUV one morning, on her way to a particular destination.  At the same time a 27-year old woman was out jogging on the side of the road near where the woman was passing in her vehicle.  Everyone was minding their own business, probably thinking of their plans for the day, when all of a sudden a deer pops up on the scene right in front of the SUV.

As you can imagine, there was a considerable impact as the stunned and frightened driver hit the deer with a shuddering -- and no doubt loud -- collision.  The impact sent the deer flying through the air.  Imagine the young jogger's surprise when a flying deer falls on her and sends her sprawling along the side of the road!  Yes, this is a true story -- one of those happenings that is "stranger than fiction" - for sure!

Both the driver and the jogger were taken to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.  The deer, however, was not so lucky and is no more.  While this story has a real "wow!" factor, it also has a spiritual message (it has a number of messages actually, but we'll just stick to one).  When you and I start our day, no matter how many plans we have in place, we really don't know how that day is going to end.

The driver of the SUV had no idea her car would be wrecked that morning and she would end up in the hospital.  The jogger had no idea she would be hit by a flying deer (let's face it, that's one scenario we really can't imagine happening!) and end up in the hospital.  And the poor deer (did you catch that pun?) really didn't expect to go airborne and become a carcass on the side of the road that morning.  We just don't have a clue what our future will be the rest of this day.  One assurance we can have about our future if we are Christians, is that no matter how our day goes, or even if it's our last day on earth, we know beyond a doubt that our last day on earth will be our first day in heaven. 

No matter how your day plays out, if God is your Father, you can hold onto this promise:  "The steps of a good man (or woman) are ordered by the Lord; and He delights in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him" Psalm 37:23-24.

In these days of uncertainty, that's a marvelous promise to hold onto.  I'd like to add one final bit of advice from Proverbs:  "Lean not unto your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."

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