Planning for the future

Certainty is an illusion. “Man tracht und Gott lacht.” “Man proposes; God disposes.” “The best laid plans of mice and men…” We know this, and yet we live as if it isn’t so. People plan weeks, months, years in advance. They spend time building their knowledge base, their skills, their acquaintance network, their home, their family- as if the future will roll out in front of them as a long straight road.

We pray it will be so. We pray that they are able to fulfill the dreams they have, the ones they have worked for, but we know that sometimes it doesn’t work out. There are illnesses, their own or others’. There are accidents and acts of nature and terror attacks and suddenly all of the plans have been cancelled, or, at best, changed.

We human beings are a resilient lot. We have been given tools to deal with these setbacks and disappointments. We try harder. We research information. We adapt. We repress. We deny the pain so that we can go on. We accept the help of friends and relatives who lend us their strength and determination and optimism.

Sometimes people say, “Why bother to plan? It won’t happen anyway,” But we know that if we don’t plan and prepare, it will surely not happen. So our faith is constantly being challenged. Will we carry on in the face of the unknown? Will we continue to work hard to be the kind of people we want to be? Will we plan and work and strive to accomplish what we know is good and true and right?

There are those who believe that a righteous act is in and of itself a significant event in the universe. Each and every day, we are presented with opportunities to give our smile, our help, our love and our kindness to others. We are given the opportunity to be gracious and kind to those we know and to those we don’t know. We are able to day by day, step by step build a better world. And that in itself helps to create the best possible future for ourselves, for our children, and for the world.

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