The Best Laid Plans

CrossOver reflection for Week Seven • Beginning January 13, 2019
We Make the Road by Walking, Chapter 20

Rev. Daniel Miranda

When I was a child, I noticed a trend in our family vacations that I might describe as a curse or maybe just bad luck. Every time we planned a vacation, my dad’s car would have some major problem and wouldn’t work. Vacations were often postponed or cancelled.

It can be so exciting to sit down to plan a vacation. We get to imagine, plan and hope for the best adventure ever! When I go on an adventure, I attempt to plan well and ask myself some questions—with the help of my spouse, of course. Questions like: Where are we going? What are we going to do? How long will we stay? What do we need to take? All of these are important questions to ask when we are planning a trip.

But the word adventure, by definition, implies some unknowns because no matter how well we plan, there are things we can’t know or anticipate. No matter how much we plan the weather may change, someone may become ill, or like it often happened in our home when I was a child, there could be problems with transportation. And yet, even when vacations and adventures don’t turn out as we intend them to, good times and fun memories are often still produced.

The adventure of being a part of a church family and having a deep faith in Christ is often like that. We imagine who God is, where God is going to take us and what God is going to do with us and through us.

I have done a lot of wonderful things I never anticipated doing and I have failed in unexpected and unimaginable ways. Those successes and failures are part of my faith adventure. Journeys have changed my mind about things I once believed very deeply and have taken me on detours I never expected to enjoy. I have been challenged to see the world from other perspectives which have ultimately made me a better person. I have, more often than I want to admit, chosen wrongs roads that led to nowhere, but I learned something important there too.

These experiences are part of the adventure. I guess we can choose not to go on adventures. We can stay in our silos. We can disengage and stop planning and hoping. But it is my prayer that we will join the adventure. Let’s plan, hope and dream that wherever the adventure takes us we’ll discover some new understanding and experience of what is means to be a people called by God to serve and love each other.

Rev. Daniel Miranda is currently serving his fourth year of appointment to First United Methodist Church in Auburn, Washington. He also serves on the PNW Council on Finance and Administration. When not engaged in ministry Daniel also enjoys playing racquetball, time with family and cooking.

Comments (2)

  • As I commented last week, I thought that we are supposed to be sharing in a discussion of McLaren’s book and not using this as a venue for personal story telling or essays that praise man’s wisdom?

    About Chapter 20.

    McLaren immediately disputes the truth of God’s Word by saying “Others see the devil as a literary figure who develops over time among ancient story tellers to personify all that is dark evil and violent in human nature and human culture”.

    He hides behind the 3rd person position again. McLaren has already announced his rejection of God’s Truth as revealed in the Holy Bible. Read his statements to that effect in Chapters 5, 12, 13 and 15. Treating God’s word as an allegory is not something that originated with him. When one chooses to do so, there is no limit to how far man can distort God’s Word to justify his own lusts, appetites and agenda. I doubt that reading again Job 1: 6-12 and Revelation 12:9 and 20:7 would affect him. After all, McLaren has already stated in Chapter 51 “Along with its historical context, we would be wise to understand the literary context for Revelation, which is ‘literature of the oppressed’ (quotes himself again) as literature of the past”. He continues with “the book of Revelation provided early disciples with a clever way of giving voice to the truth — when freedom of speech was dangerous…..”. According to the gospel of McLaren. Who’s wisdom? Man’s?

    Without the infallibility of God’s Holy Word, all religion rests on the wisdom of men. I am unwilling to trust my eternity to these wise men such as Buddha, Mohammad and post modern post evangelical men!

    I have yet to find any translation of the Bible that says “Jesus stands and asks for the scroll of the prophet Isiah”. Instead they read “..Jesus was handed the book of Isiah”. Hebrew scholars tell us that the books to be read each Sabbath aloud were preset and not the choices of readers 2-7. That is except in the Gospel according to man who actually expect us to receive such statements as truth.

    I believe that Jesus reading from those passages brings out a glorious example of God’s predestined will that Christ would be in that Synagogue to read from Isiah and not even change the prearranged order of worship!! Wow, now that was beautiful. Our omnipotent God carried out His infallible plan in public and in His house.

  • The Wallace/Burke UMC has been a Lay-Led Congregation for a year+ . This has been a new adventure with questions like: Where are we going? What are we going to do? This study The Best Laid Plans has been an inspiration to keep experiencing this adventure–“the adventure being a part of a church family and having a deep faith in Christ is often like that”

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