Coming Up With a Plan H

chickenby Annie Carter

Do you remember when you celebrated your birthday as a child? It is my conjecture that everyone everywhere owns a home video or photograph chronicling the following interaction:

Party goer: Make a wish!

Birthday child blows out candles.

Party goer: What did you wish for?

Birthday child: I can’t tell you or it won’t come true!

If I say it out loud, it won’t come true.

The more birthdays I celebrate, the more I realize how much I seem to believe this. Don’t acknowledge what you hope for, because chances are it won’t happen that way. Maybe we all experience this. You make plans, you count your chickens, and they never hatch. Or maybe the chicken never has any eggs to begin with. Maybe it turns out the chicken wasn’t even a hen. Maybe all this time your chicken was a rooster and you’ve been making plans based on something that is biologically improbable in the first place.

Yesterday I was listening to my sister sing a song she wrote about Jacob, Leah and Rachel from the Book of Genesis. Most of my life I saw that story as a purely female tragedy. But yesterday I got thinking about Jacob. Making all these plans. Around one chicken. He spends fourteen years of his life working for something he wants and can’t seem to get. Thinking he’ll wake up in the morning to one thing and finding another. Working endlessly for what he imagines will be perfect and then discovering it is not.

It seems to be human nature to be prepared with plans A, B and even C. I guess when we find ourselves on Plan H, it’s time to let go of the reins a little.

Lord, let me work with Joy for those seven on seven years. Give me the Grace to be grateful for the Leahs in my life. And the strength to Hope for Rachels. For rent. For a steady job. And to Hope for it out loud. Even if it doesn’t come true for another seven years. Because surely that is Hope; plan H. To trust that things are good. Even when they are not.

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