One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question – “What do you expect to do?” You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. – Oswald Chambers
I must really confuse people.
I was at work one day and a lady asked me what I did in school, the conversation went something like this:
Me – I’m in journalism.
Lady – At the U?
Me – No, St. Clair.
Lady – How many years is that.
Me – Two, but I’m just doing one and then transfering the credits to a degree in international studies. (pause) I just want to be a missionary, so I’m trying to get trained up.
That was probably a bit too much information for the poor lady who was just paying for her gas.
Really it seems like my plans change so often that I don’t think any of my friends can even keep track of them. Even the people who know EXACTLY what I PLAN to do may not realize I haven’t got a clue.
I’m learning you can’t hold tight to plans, when your plans are not your own.
I’m about to start the second semester of the journalism program at my local college. I really enjoyed first semester and I learned a lot.
But speaking about God’s plans, and confusion, and all that jazz – I realized something interesting when I was working on my two major projects of the semester:
Blitz Day – You show up at 7am for the morning meeting, then you go out, you get your interviews and your pictures and you come back, write the story, have it edited three times and hand it in by deadline. So pretty much the whole city of Windsor decides to pull out Murphy’s Law and it’s the most stressful day of your life.
I was writing on a space exhibit at Windsor’s science centre. I interviewed their volunteer president, had a tour of the exhibit and sat down to start writing as I waited for the centre to open. I really wasn’t sure there would be any customers that day. And I really needed a customer perspective, or I really didn’t have a story.
I sat down to write saying, “Ok, God, what are we doing?”
Even before I was set up to start typing the president walked back into the room he’d just left me in, “A school group actually came in while we were having our interview. I can take you to go talk to them.”
I love it when God answers so quickly. It’s like He really wants you to know He’s holding up His side of the conversation.
I don’t know why the coordinator seemed to have forgotten he had a group coming in that day, or why it slipped his mind to tell me. He’d wanted me to come in the day before when he said he had a tour group.
Another thing that was pretty cool. They were a group of sixth graders from a Christian school in a nearby city. I told their teacher that God had just answered my prayer by having them there. (I’m not sure journalists are allowed to say things like that, oh well, my bad.)
They were really sweet kids.
It was our big day to be real life journalists with our names in print.
Really though, I just wanted to stick around and hang out with those kids.
And I had the same realization when I was working on my Enterprise. It was worth 25% of our News Writing mark. We were working with partners to write a 2,500 word news article. My partner, Jamila, and I did ours on breakfast programs. We did tons of research, called dozens of people and arranged a good number of interviews. When we had all we needed we sat down for four hours together one day, and six hours the next, just WRITING. I learned a lot about journalism and really loved that project. We ended up getting a 47 out of 50, and I’ve never been so proud of a mark in my life.
But you know what the best part was? We went to a school. And hung out with children at their breakfast club. I ran around with my camera and took dozens of glamour shots I knew I would never use for my article as the children asked to have their pictures taken. I gave my expensive camera to a little boy and let him try his hand at photography. I sat down beside a group of seventh graders and asked what we were playing for recess. And then I had all my pictures, and all my interviews, and I had to go. Back to the world of big people, where life just isn’t as fun.
I am really excited for this semester. I have classes that should teach me really useful skills to go perfectly with all those plans of mine.
I think the best thing about giving your plans to God is that He knows the desires of your heart more deeply than even you do. So I don’t have to worry when I start seeing where my heart really is. My God’s got this, and He’s bringing me where I need to be.