It’s just not one of my gifts. It’s not. I really just don’t like it. “I’m actually no, I’m not a planner. I wouldn’t say I’m a planner. I would say I’m a kinda fly by the seat of my pants gal. You know moment to moment, yeah that’s me, that’s…yeah” That’s right. I quoted Vivian, Julia Roberts character in Pretty Woman. It’s not that I don’t like things planned. I do. I very much enjoy when I attend events or parties or dinners that are well planned and thought out. I actually appreciate it and acknowledge that things often just go better when there’s been some planning involved. I just don’t particularly want to be the planner. I have other gifts. I’ve come to terms with that.
I got a phone call from my mom one morning a few weeks ago. When I answered her call she said through a sobbing voice, “You had the best daddy.” Now I know I had the best daddy. I’ve always known. He set the bar really high. My daddy passed away almost 5 months ago, and as I type that, I still have a hard time registering that I can’t just pick up the phone and call him or run over to the house I was raised in and see him. Since he “moved out” of his home here in East Tennessee to his eternal home in Heaven, there have been quite of few of those phone calls between Mom and me similar to the call I got that morning. I could tell by this call, though, that something had happened to cause Mom to start the conversation this way. Over the last several months doing all the things one has to do when a loved one passes away (call insurance companies, banks, social security office, and on and on) my mom has seen a quality in my dad that we never saw while he was here with us. Planner. We have truly been surprised several times recently by some things my daddy planned.
Since that phone call from Mom that morning, the Holy Spirit has been stirring in my heart the concept of planning and preparing. I can list lots, and I mean LOTS, of wonderful traits my dad possessed. Planning just wasn’t one of them. He had a larger-than-life personality and mentality. He was the provider and protector of his family. It wasn’t just his role as husband and father. It was who he was. He took this responsibility to the point of err, because he really thought he would always be around to take care of everyone. He was a man of great faith, not a worrier. I just think he believed he was the tool God would use to provide and protect. And he was right.
He was the tool God used to equip me with what I would need as a middle-schooler, a teenager, a young adult, a wife, a friend, a step-mother, a nanny and a woman in her 40’s whose daddy has passed away. Daddy equipped me with the knowledge that Jesus Christ is the basis for everything. He is the foundation and He is the covering. He is the load-bearing wall that is holding the whole thing together. And what heavier load to bear than my sin. He is the beginning, middle, and end.
This kind of equipping doesn’t just happen. It does take planning. It does take intentionality. I’d be an idiot to believe that as long as my grandkids were emotionally and financially healthy that they are well-equipped for the years ahead. Man, I’d love for them all to be able to graduate from college with no debt and really good manners. But the thought of them having nothing but a bank account on the positive side and a good job to navigate the messy world that will attempt to deceive them and scream for their attention and allegiance is enough to drive me to my knees.
When the bottom falls out of their “plans”, when disappointment breaks their hearts, when friends betray them, when their marriages get really hard, when people they love get sick or die, when they lose their job, when their kids get sick…that full bank account, that diploma, that nice car and well-respected position will provide ZERO. Not one of those will bring comfort, peace, guidance, or wisdom. It will be their choice as to what tools they pull out of their toolbox, but my desire is for them to have access to the right tools for the job.
Father, help me plan for the future of my grandkids by equipping them with your Word.
5 You shall love the Lordyour God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 ESV