Messed-Up Plans

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” — Woody Allen

Sometimes life seems to be pretty unfair. We plan our future, our education, our career, our family, our holidays, or sometimes perhaps only the perfect date, and what happens next is everything we’ve so carefully planned out turns upside down and all of a sudden we have to improvise, or change plans, let go, or simply surrender. It’s not easy to let go of our expectations, because we think we have a right to it, whatever “it” is.

Our little “Sophie” for example certainly didn’t expect that her mom wouldn’t take care of her, but as sheep do, she peacefully gave in to her fate and would have starved didn’t we interfere. We humans tend to furrow our brows and say what a cruel mother this little lamb has, while mother ewe only acts by her instincts. After all she is a wonderful mother to her second lamb. Two weeks into feeding Sophie  – first every four, then every six hours – we’d long justified the ewe’s behaviour when we learned that something indeed wasn’t working properly in our lamb as we witnessed milk intended to flow down into her stomach, appeared also in the lamb’s nose and eyes, accompanied by hefty sneezing and breathlessness during bottle-feeding.

By Easter the problem had finally solved itself and Sophie suckles milk like a pro. On top, she has an entire barnyard looking out for her, from the dog, to the horse, they all love to watch her, while her sheep family teaches her the essentials like chewing on hay. Comes May she will be all set to run with her “family” in the field.




As much as we like Sophie, she did mess up some of our plans, particularly mine to spend a few days in the city. But so did the freezing rain before Easter leaving plenty of households across the Province without hydro, or the Thundershower that flooded our basement on Easter Monday.

But what is our little annoying messed-up plans compared to the family in Northern Ontario, that welcomed their new baby boy on the very day of their first-born’s funeral?

Or the family in Manitoba that searched with the entire town for their missing two year-old only to find him drowned in the creek?

What do you tell such parents to comfort them and ease their pain? I have no words. I can only try to share a fragment of their pain and hold them silently in prayer.

I certainly didn’t expect to die either the day my daughter was born. Contrary to the belief of many, that the soul departs at the moment of their physical death, I agree with Dr. Mary C. Neal, MD, that “the departure of the soul defines and determines the moment of death, rather than the body’s physical death determining the moment of the soul’s departure.” From my experience a soul can linger for quite some time after its body’s  death, or the soul can hurry on ahead of its body’s physical death.

Even though I had the privilege to meet our Creator and experience his pure and unconditional love, even though I felt the indescribable bliss at what I suppose was the threshold to Heaven, even though I wanted to stay there and I truly didn’t want to return to my Earthly life and into my human body, and even though I feel at times a homesickness for my real home in Heaven, I still have no words to comfort these grieving families.

Aren’t children supposed to live, bring joy to their families, make friends and experiences of their own and enjoy this entire living on Earth game before they return home? It just doesn’t seem right when a little child is taken from his parents. And yet, is it our decision? Can we take our children for granted? Or our families? Do we have a right of our holidays or our perfect date? Is our home and education, our career and our prosperous future all granted? – Some people believe so. Some people even think that God doesn’t know the future and needs our advice… I don’t think so. I know that God doesn’t need our input, nor our opinion, our help or aid. Yet, when our time is up here and we will see our Creator “face to face” let’s remember to ask him why he chose to rob these parents of their little babies, or the many refugees of their homes, or the orphans of their parents.

Until then I’m glad I have to deal with only little problems that still seem so overwhelming at times. And then I look at my watch and see it is time for another bottle of milk replacer and another trip to the barn before bedtime and when I’m lucky I will admire once again a night sky full of stars and realize how tiny and unimportant I really am. And when I’m really lucky, I see another shooting star – like yesterday – and I make my wish and then I remember the indescribable bliss and the pure and unconditional love I experienced and for an instance I remember that the tiny speck that I am is treasured without measure by our Creator – and so are you!

Since we are still here though, enjoying our busy life, I wish you “Happy planning.”  😉


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