No, I’m not referring to the 1981 hit by .38 Special, though I admit that song always made me smile. I’m referring to words, whispered in the dark, 18 years earlier by my mom’s mom to my mom as she held her first baby (me) in her arms. “Hold on loosely, honey.” My mom used to share how jarring that was coming from her sweet little mother, and yet how profound. Truth is, it applies to many more things than parenting.
For the last several weeks the congregation has brought in pounds of candy, the facility team has spent dozens of man-hours undoing critter damage in our outbuilding (Building 2). On Saturday, October 26, a crack team of volunteers assembled the giant bouncy houses, fun fair games, and eatery, turning a warehouse space into an outreach extravaganza! Then came the warnings of another snowpocalypse….. Unfortunately, because of the heaters we had to rent, we had to make the call in the morning of the event, and that morning there was still a bulls-eye on KC at 7 p.m., so I pulled the plug – hearing, once again, the words of my Grandma Nelson, “Hold on Loosely”…
As echoed by Solomon:
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
Learned by Job:
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: ‘Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.’” (Job 38:1-4)
And demonstrated by Jesus:
“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
I don’t know how often this happens for you. I am often accused by voices in my head that if only I had planned better, if only I had anticipated better, then thus and so wouldn’t have happened. Of course, one can ALWAYS learn from mistakes, BUT one isn’t always mistaken. Sometimes God has a different plan. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Where He leads, we simply need to…..go!