// Jeanne DeTellis
I’ve often had a calendar from the dollar store, or even free ones.
But for the past three years, I have indulged in a Barnes and Noble calendar book; 2014 was hot pink, 2015 was pale aqua, and 2016 is coral. These calendars are me, my life, my plans, my things to do and people to meet. I’ve made these plans. But, in Proverbs 19:21 God tells us, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
I’m not an early riser unless I have a 6:00 a.m. flight. But, one recent morning I was awake at 5:00 a.m. with thoughts of writing about “My Calendar.” I tried to go back to sleep, but my mind was busy thinking about the day ahead. I’d fix some meals for my parents, and then head to church for the 11:00 a.m. service. It was going to be a productive day.
By 8:30 a.m. all of these plans changed. My mother was experiencing an eye issue that required a trip to the ER. The whole day was spent waiting for doctors and going from one hospital to another. Finally, arriving home after 11:00 p.m. with a dusting of snow, my heart was flooded with thoughts that I may make good human plans, but God is my Planner. He is my Calendar.
When I write in my calendar, I want to say a prayer over my desires, my plans, my travel and ministry. I want my prayer to be one of surrender. “God, Your will be done.” Psalms 94:11 says, “The Lord knows all human plans; He knows that they are futile.” I want my desires to be His desires so that I can have His promise in Psalms 20:4, “May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”
Surrendering your calendar requires a trusting spirit in a good, good Father. In November, I had plans to be in the Dominican Republic. My son asked me not to go. During that time there were torrential rains, flooding, and suffering; maybe not the place God wanted an old, twice-widowed lady.
I’m sure you love your calendar like I treasure mine. I have dates penciled in through most of 2017. Exciting ministry dates; weddings, etc. As I write each event in my calendar, I say a prayer: “God willing,” or “Dios Primero (God first)” or “Si Bondye vle” (if God wills).
Pastor George told a story about a farmer who was walking his cow to the market. Along the way, someone asked the man where he was going, and the man said, “I’m going to the market to sell my cow.” Robbers came and beat up the farmer and stole his cow. After his beating and loss of his cow, someone asked the farmer where he was going. With humility, the farmer replied, “God willing, I am going home.”
Last month, I went to the cemetery where Pastor George is buried to give his black granite bench a cleaning. I polished these words: “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” How’s your calendar? Is it covered with a spirit of humility and surrender? God’s will is the best for us. His will may lead us in days of joy or in days of sorrow, but God’s will is always sovereign. In 2017, God, please guide my calendar. ~Jeanne DeTellis