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Prepared for the trip

I once heard that we must not allow how another sees us to define us - why - because their perception of us is very limited - they don't have the full picture. What do we make when we don't have the full picture? An opinion - good or bad - but it isn't always based on the full facts of a matter. I have an opinion as to the best tasting Italian dressing to put on your salad - but you could have a totally different one from mine because you haven't yet tasted mine. Experience my favorite dressing and you may change your mind. Were you wrong in your original opinion? No, but you just had a limited perspective or perception of what an Italian dressing should taste. At best, you can guess about my life, but the only one who truly knows the inner workings of my mind, the beat of my heart's passion, and the hope of my emotion's trust is God himself.

No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, never so much as imagined anything quite like it— what God has arranged for those who love him. But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you. The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. (I Corinthians 2:7-12)

We have a very limited perspective of what God is doing in our lives - we see some of the things and understand perfectly, but we don't have the 'bigger picture' yet. I don't think most of us could handle it if God gave us the big picture all at one time anyway. It would about do us in to see all we will endure, every hardship and every high place; every compromise and every repentance; every wavering trust and every strong foundation. God doesn't have a limited perception of our lives - even when we do. In fact, he knows the end from the beginning and is pointing us toward the end he has planned. We have to trust him with the end even though we want to know it from the beginning.

God's plans aren't hard to understand - they are oftentimes revealed to us in the subtlest of ways. We miss some of the nuances of his plans just because they are opened up to us in such a subtle manner. We expect the 'big bang' - that 'kaboom' - and there it is before us. Chances are God's plans for us aren't going to come in the 'kaboom' and there it is before you manner. They will come in the realization one door closed so another could open; one relationship seemed to grow stronger while another remained the same; one quiet moment opened the mind's eye to a truth we had been needing to hear in order to understand a tough situation.

Some of us are more concerned with how another sees us than we are in understanding what God is doing in our lives. We want to see his plans and understand them, but we are afraid of how others will see us if we really get 'tuned into' what God is doing within us. We might get labeled as a little too much 'religious' or perhaps a 'goody-two-shoes'. Did you know that a 'good-two-shoes' is someone who is trying too hard to be perfect? God's plans is that we try to be perfect - his plan is that we spend time with him so he can allow his perfection to come out in us. It isn't easy to go deep into his 'plans', but it is well worth it. To understand what he has prepared for us is indeed rewarding. If I know my destination, I prepare well for the journey! It isn't the perception of the journey I want - it is the experience. Just sayin!

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