It was New Year’s Day.
I had just arrived back home from a 4-hour journey, tired and ready to relax, so naturally, I typed the word ‘Netflix’ into my browser. I had got through all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls, all 9 of The Office, tried watching Suits (wasn’t my thing), so was wondering what my next TV show was going to be. What followed next could only be described as great joy because…
Friends is on Netflix! Yes, I have watched all 10 seasons already. Yes, I know all the storylines, and yes, I will proceed to watch the episodes again, all 236 of them. No shame.
In season 1, episode 4, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe have a sleepover. The conversation starts full of hope, encouraging Rachel that she will get back on her feet after she walked away from her old life. Monica and Phoebe try their best to cheer their friend up, offering stories of encouragement, but when their responses did not quench Rachel’s desire for answers, their hope fell flat.
Rachel: but it was a plan, it was clear, everything was figured out, and now it’s kinda like…
Monica: but at some point it’s gonna come together, and it’s gonna be… unfloopy
Rachel: but Monica, what if it doesn’t come together?
** silence **
A fun sleepover with best friends soon develops into 3 discouraged women moping on a sofa, drinking rum through a straw, focused on the hopelessness of their situations. The plans they had failed, their focus had shifted, and what resulted was simply a lack of hope.
When Monica and Phoebe gave no response, the conversation ended there.
Sometimes we allow our lives to be a little like this scene in Friends. We have a plan, a focus, a goal to work towards, and suddenly, for whatever reason, our plan is taken off course, and we feel hopeless.
We place our hope in the plan itself, rather than the Ultimate Planner.
It’s the end of January. How many of us made new year's resolutions that we have already failed to keep? How many of us had plans that have already fallen flat? How many of us made goals that we haven’t reached?
I am so glad that even in my extensive plans and goal tracking, God is the ultimate planner. I am so glad that when I fail to meet my targets, God gives grace and second, third… twentieth chances.
When our plans fail and we feel hopeless, the conversation does not end there.
- Perhaps you had a vision, an idea, a project that God has put on your heart for this year?
- Perhaps you’re realising, it’s 5 months into the academic year, and you’ve still not started?
- Perhaps your time at uni isn’t panning out like you thought it would?
Let this be your comfort. God is the ultimate planner.
Allow yourself to be aligned with His purpose for your life, your church and your university. Seek His will, and hope in the One who gives you Hope.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”