The weather is warmer now, and that means the cranes have sprouted. Some of the fields near us are starting to bloom with new houses and factories. It’s always interesting to watch them grow, but I have to admit that sometimes the process puzzles me. The diggers come in first and push dirt around for ages in ways that seem pointless and confusing, and then there are pipes and concrete pillars and none of it looks like anything I would have expected until the walls start going up and then suddenly I start to recognise the shape of what the builders knew all along. None of it was pointless. Every pillar and digger was directed towards the blueprint of a final product that started in the imagination of the architect, and will finish in a tangible reality that people can live or work in. Just because I don’t see or understand the plan doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It just means that I’m not the architect.
And so it is with my life. The things going on around me might look pointless and confusing at times, and the pillars of unexpected circumstances might look like they are being planted in the wrong places for me to build my own plans on—but the problem is not with the pillars. The problem is with my own plans. There is an architect who already has plans for my life, and his plans are much bigger and better and more glorious and wonderful than I could ever dream up for myself. My job is not to controvert him with plans that are scaled down to my own imagination. My job is not to question every digger he sends my way. My job is to trust the architect, and submit to his work.
One of my favourite authors, C.S. Lewis, puts this concept well in one of my favourite books, Mere Christianity (you should read it, by the way):
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.
Of course, I could refuse his plan and stick to my own, defying the one who made me in the first place. But why would I want to do that?