I have a secret to admit.
A deep, dark secret.
I listen to country music. Actually, I think I LIKE country music. *Gasp.* I know. I blame my sister. We shared a car at home and every time I got in, the radio was set to the country music station. Or maybe I just set it there…? Who knows.
Anyways, I think what I like about country music, besides the raw Americana feel of it is this: every country music song tells a story. Whether it’s about a girl in a bar or, a day out fishing or how you met your high school sweetheart, every country song has a story with a beginning, a sometimes-tumultuous middle, perhaps a surprise twist, and finally a happy ending that all fits in the space of a two minute song. I like that. I like the idea that my life story fits into something as simple, logical, and beautiful as a two minute song and the guarantee that no matter how confusing the verse I’m in, it will all resolve in a catchy chorus and will somehow make sense in the end.
Being the obsessively organized planner that I am, I’d like to know what part of the song my life is in, what’s in store in the next five years of my life. Maybe even just the next three? Heck, at this point, I’d even settle for a plan for just one year! Traveling all over the globe tends to make the world a lot smaller but also somehow makes the possibilities for the future seem infinitely larger. I can imagine a lot of different futures for myself in different countries doing different things that I love. When I’m home in America, it feels comfortable and I can see myself living there and all the things I could do there, but then I come back here to South Africa and this fits too! It is very confusing. In the past I used to make a lot of plans for my life. I had two and five and ten year plans, but having lived in six different countries in the past five years, I’ve realized that most of the realities of my life are less the product of my planning than my simple obedience to His gentle leading, His still small voice behind me saying “This is the way, walk in it.”
So I’ve given up planning my future. Maybe that sounds irresponsible or reckless or directionless, but for now my plan is to fix my eyes on the “Author and Perfecter of my faith” (Hebrews 12:2) “confident of this, that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6). Whatever He’s busy with, all I can say is it’s been a pretty good story so far!