Thanksgiving Day unfolded yesterday for our family in a way that we had not envisioned. You may well remember the line from Robert Burns’ poem, “To a Mouse,” which goes: “The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew…”
Yes, they do!
My little battery-operated travel alarm failed to sound an alarm yesterday morning; the battery had apparently run its course. I awoke at 8:15 a.m. which was later than I had planned to get up, since I had a turkey to get in the oven and side dishes to prepare.
Not to worry. I had purchased a smaller-than-usual turkey weighing only 11.5 pounds, and I wasn’t planning on getting that in the oven early anyway.
Everything was humming along on course when my telephone rang about 11:00 a.m. My younger son had learned that a friend of his from church had been in an automobile accident just before midnight on Wednesday evening. My son was changing course to go to the hospital to pray with the family and, if possible, to see his friend and lay hands for healing. He wanted me to know that they would be late, but that he and his family would get here as quickly as possible.
Not to worry. I had not as yet put the side dishes in the oven – these could wait for awhile on the counter before being baked. The turkey could be kept warm. The mashed potatoes could be scooped into a Crockpot where they would be kept warm. All would be well.
It had snowed the previous evening, but not enough for the snow removal service under contract for the townhome to come to clean driveways and sidewalks. That covering of fresh snow on top of ice on the roadways probably was the cause of my son’s friend’s automobile accident. My older son arrived, and he cleaned the snow from my driveway and sidewalk. All was well there.
We ate about 1 ½ hours later than was planned. Our table blessing included a special prayer for the accident victim and his family; we drew a bit closer together as we prayed, having been newly reminded that we are never guaranteed another Thanksgiving Day, or another month, week, day or minute.
Due to his automobile accident, a fine young man suffered a broken back and fully-severed spinal cord, just below his arms. The bones of his spine will be fused today, but the spinal cord is not repairable, at least by human hands. He does have feeling in his hands and arms and all who know and love him are drawing strength from that.
We make our plans but as the poet Burns well noted, they often go askew. And when that happens we receive a fresh reminder that we are not in charge of the universe. We are here solely by grace.
I have my plans for today but they need to be flexible, since I’m not in charge of the universe. However, I do know how to contact the One who is, and I did so the first thing when I arose this morning, asking for a fresh supply of grace to meet my needs for the day. And I will not worry – God is still on the throne.
Source: Personal experience
Wikipedia.org, To A Mouse