Scotty and I have a new guilty pleasure tv show - Married at First Sight. If you’ve never seen the show, the title pretty much gives away what the whole show is about. Basically some “experts” do a bunch of interviews and match people up based on a whole slew of criteria. Once they are matched, the couples get married at, you guessed it, first sight. While I don’t condone or recommend this process for getting married, I’m sure you can imagine the drama and entertainment that follows.
Anyways, in the latest episode that we watched, the “experts” told the couples to write a letter to their younger selves. This letter was supposed to be one that helped prepare them for the challenges that they were currently facing. Once the entertainment of these letters had passed, I started thinking about what I would put into a letter for "Younger Caroline” or what I would want to tell her.
Naturally, the first things that popped into my head were wishing that my younger self has never passed up an opportunity to go on a run, cannonball into the water, or even braid some hair. I would have warned against taking for granted the little things like being able to feel the sand between my toes, squeezing someone’s hand or driving my car wherever or whenever I wanted to go.
A letter like that could go on and on, but it would have done diddly squat in helping me prepare for my future. Besides, “Younger Caroline” had a plan, right? She had a destination and a road map and a plan. But what about bumps in the road? Or in my case, what if it feels like the road just threw you off of a cliff?!
Less than a year before my accident, Thomas Rhett released a banger of an album called 'Life Changes.' And in the song “Life Changes,” there is a line that goes,
"You never know what's gonna happen
You make your plans and you hear God laughing."
How fitting, right? I mean who hasn’t felt out of control because their plan isn’t working out?
The reality is we can’t plan the future, but we can be prepared for the future when it gets here. The only way to be prepared for the future is by having a solid foundation in Jesus.
I don’t have a letter from my future self, but if I did then I would want it to tell me that the things that happen in my life aren’t accidents or luck or chance, but it’s part of God’s perfect plan for me. I would want my letter to emphasize that I need to continue actively preparing for God’s purposes in my life.
I think a lot of people are pretty familiar with Jeremiah 29:11 that says,
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
But it goes on in verse 12 and 13 to say,
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
There you have it. God is going to do the planning while I prepare by calling on the Lord, praying and seeking a relationship with Him.
These days everyone is concerned about the future. Whether it has to do with covid 19 or the upcoming election or something personal, the future is unclear. Everyone is having a hard time planning for the future because we don’t know what our world will look like day to day. But the good news is that the future is coming and we can be prepared!