When I was a child, my dad would often tell us kids that we were leaving town and to pack a bag. He wouldn’t really tell us what to pack and he certainly wouldn’t tell us where we were going. My ten year old self was a bit of a control freak and way too inhibited for these sort of antics by my highly spontaneous father.
I remember feeling annoyed each time this happened. Why, dad? Why can’t you tell us in advance so we can have a few days to pack up our things and mentally prepare? I remember anxiously crying and wanting to stay put in the comfort of my home. It wasn’t that I didn’t like adventure, but that I highly favored familiarity. I was not at all spontaneous and relied heavily on planned events.
When I think about it, there is probably a reason that I didn’t like these unplanned moments to pop up. My parents separated when I was eight years old, which left me feeling as though unexpected events were always going to lead to heartbreak and despair. I always preferred to know what was happening and when, presumably because of my past. It probably still didn’t give an excuse for my crazy meltdowns, but makes a bit more sense. (Sorry dad.)
After our bags were packed, we would all jump in the car and head off to this unknown adventure. I would still be my bratty little ten year old self and be annoyed on the outside, but inwardly I would be holding on to a small sense of wonder and amusement. With Dave Matthews playing in the background, my dad would give us little clues on where we were going while my brother and I got to guess. Our guesses were always wrong because we didn’t know the lay of the land like my dad did. Eventually, we would arrive at our destination and have a blast hiking around, climbing rocks and cliff jumping.
When I met Christ, I’d like to say I fully ditched planning. I’d like to say that I am completely spontaneous and welcome new circumstances with arms wide open. However, it’s just not true. I have come a long way - I don’t meltdown every time a new circumstance arises and I am much more comfortable with spontaneity. My human nature causes me to cling to my plans more often than not, but I’ve learned that my plans kinda stink. Actually, they really stink.
God has shown me that His plans are far better than mine, on multiple occasions. Just like my biological father, my Heavenly Father brings new adventures to me regularly. Sometimes I’m annoyed, but most of the time I am filled with that same mentality of wonder and amusement as I did when I was a child. I get excited and wonder where God is taking me, knowing that His plans have proved to be pretty dang awesome.
The spontaneous adventures my dad took us on helped form my adventurous spirit that I have today. My dad helped me see that life is better unplanned and to go with the flow. What my experiences with God have shown me is that His adventures are far better than my minuscule ones. Sure, I don’t know exactly the route or what to pack, but those things don’t seem to matter when it’s His plan. He provides each and every thing I need for which He’s called me, and shown me that His plans are even more beautiful and entertaining than I thought they ever could be. Following Jesus is not simple, but it’s never uneventful. God keeps me on my toes, for sure. His plans often tear me open, raw to my bones - making me susceptible to ulterior ways of thinking. I don’t know the way of the land like my dad does, and neither of us know it like our God does.
God is constantly tugging on my heart saying, “Lauren, pack your bags.” while I sit and say, “But God, where are we going?”
You don’t need an answer. Just go. Allow Him to open your eyes and to shape your heart. God isn’t a boring God, He’s a God of adventure.
Are you going to get in the truck or cry at home?