The Best Laid Plans

If there is one thing India teaches a person, it is how little control one has over life.  In India, the gods laugh at people who make plans.  And I have to admit, I’m one of those people.  I have an ongoing love affair with the illusion of control, and planning plays a large role in that illusion.

But in India the only thing you can plan on is that anything and everything will happen but what you planned on.  Taxis and buses seem to have their own agenda.  Electricity runs when it feels like it.  A trip into town to check email may or may not find that an available option, but only after the trip has been made.

Yesterday there was a man shaving.  The water supply suddenly ran out, and he was left with a face half shaved and covered in lather.  Those of us who saw him knew that bewildered moment when the simplest of plans gets thwarted.  India is a crash course for anyone who belongs in a planners support group.

But if you can open your eyes and heart to what is there when what you want to be there isn’t, a whole new world opens up.  It is the world on its own terms, the way it wants to come to us.  Here, I am learning about this world.  I am learning about a grace that continuously seeks to shower us with hidden blessings.

This grace shows its face as challenges that grow our skill level, problems that sharpen our minds, opportunities that awaken us to a different way of thinking, pain that opens us to compassion and vulnerability, pleasures that delight our souls, and funny happenings that lift our spirits.  Grace makes us bigger and it makes us smaller.

It is a hard thing for we humans I think, to believe that there is something out there that actually cares about us more than we do, that has our best interest at heart, and that is orchestrating our days to perfectly bring us everything that will ultimately shape us into the human beings we are here to embody and live.

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