My dear 7th grader is up to her eyeballs this week in reports. It seems she has a report due for every class and they’re all the boring kind – like the kind about Call of the Wild or binary star systems. Unfortunately, one of the tasks of a parent is to assist with homework and assignments, which means I am also up to my eyeballs in editing boring reports about very boring subjects. There is a positive side to this ordeal. My daughter and I have found a common thread in our disdain toward sentence structure and in our loathing of lame literature.
I wrote my first report in 3rd grade on the broad topic of ‘babies’, chosen mostly because my mom was pregnant at the time and also because I was 9 – an age when babies (and their whereabouts) are completely intriguing. Like any rookie report writer, I constructed paragraphs by indenting, stringing sentences together, and then indenting the first sentence of the next string. There was really no specific theme to each grouping of sentences, but this technique made my paper look like I was a genius or something. Or so I thought.
My mom was usually on homework duty because she was a teacher and loved homework for some reason, a trait that is not hereditary. My dad’s English degree, however, made him the official editor. Turns out, I was not nearly as genius as I had hoped because my paper lacked a certain ‘flow’ – a concept my young mind couldn’t comprehend. My dad’s solution was to cut my paper into skinny strips of sentences and tape them back together in an order that made more sense – to adults, anyway. As for me, it still made no sense, but I was willing to believe that my dad was probably right. The bummer was my final draft no longer looked like a final draft. If it looked like a rough draft, I was lucky. It had barely survived a grammatical massacre, and it showed.
Ever feel like God is cutting and pasting your well-laid plans? Some say God laughs when we make plans, but God’s not a bully wielding His power just to mess with us. The truth is, we attempt to write our lives, but God orders our steps in His perfect order. He sees the whole picture. He knows the best flow. Yes, God will give you the desires of your heart, but this comforting promise is rooted in the idea that what delights you most is Him; what you desire most is living for Him. Trust Him even when your genius and structurally sound plans are being tweaked and reworked. Accept you will never have all the answers to your questions, because sometimes life just doesn’t make sense.
If your topic sentence is “I love Jesus”, then your life thesis is “I trust my Creator”. Let Him write your story. Delight in the details He adds and enjoy His perfect surprise endings.