A couple of weeks ago I had a plan.

I created this mind map of Why?How?What? and Challenges and Opportunities.
I prayed thru what was hiding in my heart enough to send it all to my brain so it could materialize into some tangible format.  I scheduled a Skype call with a friend to brainstorm some goals and blind spots.  I was on a roll!

Then God lobbed a big fat knuckle ball at me.  I swung as hard as I could and with a big
[o o <<..**w-h-i-f-f **..>> o o ]
landed smack on my butt in the dirt, scratching my head and wondering what happened. Translated:  I will lose my job at the end of the year and I have no idea what’s going to happen now… I was taking care of business and lining up my ducks.  I was doing a lot of things right.  I had a plan!

It’s good to have a game plan though I am not always obsessed with going from point A to B in a straight line.  I like to have a goal in mind as a steady point on the horizon toward which to navigate.  I like making lists so I can cross things off and chart a path of accomplishment.

But… are you listening here God??… I’m not gonna make anymore plans! Because you always come along and change them!  I was just getting to the point when I had some stuff figured out and then you threw that knuckle ball saying… HaHa!  I’m the one in charge here!

And just like that, all I had ready for the next step is in shambles.  My priorities now are packing/moving/job hunting.  Why even set goals or priorities if YOU are just going to keep changing the playing field?  I mean honestly… why? (shaking my pointed finger heavenward)

The surest way to make God laugh:  make your own plans.  I have lived long enough in this crazy world to know that adaptability and flexibility make me a much happier person.
So I’m not making plans anymore… do you hear me?
(shaking my clenched fist heavenward)
I will not write with an outline.
I will not spend inordinate amounts of time prioritizing goals or objectifying strategies.
I will just live.
In the moment.
Now.

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About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

3 responses »

  1. Jeff Kaster says:

    God as a knuckle ball pitcher. Great metaphor!

    James Fowler talks about the “sacrament of defeat” in his book Stages of Faith. Your blog spoke to me about this concept. Perhaps even a big fat whiff can be seen as a sign of God.

    Sometimes when you see a pitch that is so good all you can do is admire it, even if you whiff. A knuckleball can be both a thing of beauty and a thing of terror at the same time.

    Last summer in my old time softball league, I threw a knuckleball that floated from my hand across the plate with absolutely no spin on it. It I do say so myself, it was a thing of beauty. Of all the experiences playing softball last summer, that one pitch was my favorite moment. The batter didn’t swing, he froze and watched the pitch. He was called out on strikes. As the batter walked back to his dugout, he turned and said to me, “nice pitch.”

    It is so counterintuitive. Finding beauty in defeat or in terror.
    I guess it depends on one’s perspective. Perhaps saints are able to see both perspectives at the same time.

    Perhaps too our faith journey, if authentic, is a journey towards embracing the “sacrament of defeat.” Holding multiple perspectives on things. Fully embracing these multiple perspectives and living in the tension.

    Finally, the old saying from Bob Uecker about how you catch a knuckleball: “wait until it stops rolling and then pick it up.”

  2. elmenardi says:

    My friend Bill and I have played softball together for almost 25 years. He’s the pitcher and I am the first base-extraordinaire 🙂 Bill is missing the middle three fingers on his throwing hand, so EVERY ball he throws is a knuckle ball! When he gets a grounder to the mound and throws to first, it’s always tricky!

    Once before a game, Bill and I were warming up and I just lost track of his throw while I was watching it not spinning. It hit me smack in the middle of the forehead and I fell to the ground. It didn’t totally knock me out, but I was loopy for the whole game. Someone should have drawn a cartoon.

    Uecker’s right… let it hit the ground and then chase it… wonder how St. Peter would approach it 🙂

  3. […]  My experience of actually living it is bittersweet, even sour at times.  I like to make my own plans and goals but most of them have never happened as I have expected or wanted.  Usually they turn out better. […]

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