If you want to make God laugh...

If you want to make God laugh ...


There’s a saying, ‘if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans’.  A few months’ ago I publically declared that on 1st July I would be competing in the Ripon Triathlon, and that I would now be training for that event.  While the training has gone ok (lots of running, some cycling and one abortive open-water swim, who knew the river Wharfe would be cold in March!) a major spanner has been thrown into the mix.  Last month we were introduced to Bob Bailey, the new curate, and his family.  A fortnight ago I was informed by the diocese that Bob would be ordained on (yes, you guessed it) 1st July at 11am in Bradford Cathedral.  I was instructed that I needed to be at the service.


So while I’m happy to be celebrating the ordination of our new curate my plans have to change and I need to look for an alternative Triathlon to enter.  This isn’t a complete reversal of fortune, but it does remind me that plans are always provisional and that we should be ready to allow circumstance, conditions, or God to influence the evolution of any plans.


The Bible is full of changed plans, from Moses changing from a settled goat herder to being the saviour of his people, to Paul changing from a persecutor of Christians to being their foremost advocate.


I’m writing this during Holy Week, when we reflect on the final days of Jesus’ life on earth.  We’ve just had Palm Sunday, when the crowds cheered him as their king.  In a few days the same crowds will be baying for him to be crucified.  Quite a change of plans.  Likewise the disciples had to change their understanding of who Jesus was.  Was he the king of the Jews who would defeat the hated Romans and bring about a new kingdom similar to the reign of David?  That was what people had planned for.  When it didn’t happen and a very different style of kingdom appeared, one of humility and grace, a spiritual rather than earthly kingdom, a kingdom based on Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  When that kingdom became apparent the disciples had to change their plans, no longer could they dream of earthly kingdoms and riches and power.  Instead they had to welcome suffering and privations, prejudice and persecution, but also they welcomed a gospel of forgiveness and love that changed the world they lived in and continues to change and transform our world and the lives of Christians in it.


What are your plans for your life?


Take a few moments to tell God those plans, and then listen for the gentle laughter that tells you of God’s plans for your life.