Monday, August 27, 2012

"We plan, God laughs"

I'm a planner. Most people who know me well, know that I can't do much without a plan. I just like being organized, knowing ahead of time what I'm going to be doing and where I'm going to be doing it. It's hard for me to do something just on a whim, as much as I wish I had the 'free spirit' to do so. Sometimes though, I am reminded though that I don't need a plan for every aspect of my life. 

Today was one of those times. 

I met with one of my professors from my study abroad to Ghana today to talk to her about picking up a minor in African and African American Studies. This idea has been on my mind since I got home from Ghana and I wanted to talk with Dr. Arrington about whether or not it'd be beneficial for me to do so. Once I got there I explained to Dr. A that once I was home from Ghana I came to the realization that I didn't want that trip to be "that one time I went to Africa". I also don't know how to incorporate what I learned and continue to learn from my trip to Ghana into my future career plans. After explaining my many problems, Dr. A stopped me and asked why I thought it was necessary to know the immediate benefits of getting a minor in African American studies. I stopped and said, 'well I guess I don't need to but that is how I've always really thought about things' (Dr. A if you're reading this and I am messing up what our conversation was really about, feel free to edit!) She got to the heart of my problem-I'm a planner. I have such a hard time accepting that I want a minor in African American studies for the pure fact that I enjoy it, and it will be beneficial at some point, but that's not enough...or it wasn't before I left the meeting. Her point was that the benefits of having this minor don't have to be blatantly obvious for me to enjoy them. 

At the end of the meeting she asked me to do one thing-enjoy the classes I am taking right now, live in the moment, and not worry about the semesters ahead. I laughed, and told her people have instructed me to do that before. What people haven't done is held me accountable for it and I have a feeling Dr. A will do just that. This semester I shouldn't be worried about next semester or next year. I shouldn't be worrying about what a minor is going to be doing for me in the next 10 years.

Where does my faith come into play in all this? If you haven't read Jeremiah 29:11 you should. God declares, "For I know the plans I have for you...plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Now, that excerpt God is talking to those who have been exiled, but nonetheless God has promised that we have a future. 

I think the whole purpose of today's meeting with the wonderful Dr. A was not to figure out whether or not I should get a minor in African American studies, but as a reminder that I don't need to plan everything down to a T. God has already done so. 

So thank you Dr. A, for reminding me that when I make a plan, God laughs. I bet he does, because when I look in hindsight about all the crazy planning I've done for my future, I laugh a little too. I am planning so much that I am not enjoying the freedom of college that I am supposed to. 


  1. A colleague of mine just posted the following quote from Mary Patterson McPherson, the President of Bryn Mawr College:

    "The point of a liberal education is to make your mind a more interesting place to live in for the rest of your life."

    I instantly thought of our discussion this morning, and then I saw that you posted a new entry, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to share the quote with you. Not everything must have an immediate outcome; enjoy yourself now, open your mind, and see what adventures unfold!

    Dr. A

  2. I agree completely with Dr. A and McPherson! I know I've said it before, but life is about the journey, not the destination! And Abby, your journey is only beginning. Savor each day, the little things and the big ones. You're already so good at trusting in God---and listening to Him. Let Him continue to work in your life! I can hardly wait to see what He has in store!
    I love you,

  3. I think you are already on a PLAN. Just not yours. :-)

    This does not mean I'm all in for a PHD. Masters, yes. PHD we'd have to negotiate.


  4. Be present in the moment......let GOD do the driving.....LET GO LET GOD.....Don't happy.....
    go with your gut......Listen to your heart......One day at a time....

    Just a few post-its around my house!! hahaha

    Love you....just breathe

    XO, Aunt Alice