Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom

07/24/2018 8:33 AM

Best Laid Plans

07/24/2018 8:33 AM
07/24/2018 8:33 AM
He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while. (Mark 6:31)
People are travelling more than ever before. Each year, the World Tourism Organization reports another increase in international travel. This follows generational trends that point to younger generations spending more on experiences than on accumulating “things.” We are travelling more, and that takes planning. We hire others to plan our trips for us, or we spend hours on end putting the pieces of each trip together ourselves. Then we set out on the trip, assuming everything should go as planned, and when it doesn’t, well, let’s just say we’re typically not happy about that.

Mark’s gospel tells a story about how Jesus and the disciples planned a vacation. They had been looking forward to it for quite a while now, and finally the day was here. The boat was ready. They climbed on board and set out. Everything was going as planned. That all changed, though, when they got off the boat and went ashore. Evidently, word had gotten our about where they were going, and when the disciples hit the shore, scores of people had gathered there ahead of them. Their plans of a vacation were spoiled.

Jesus could have simply ignored the crowds, something he had done on occasion before, but he didn’t. As Mark puts it, “he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.” It is an insight into how we can approach life. Even our best laid plans may not happen the way we would like them to. We can throw our hands up in frustration, or we can be open to the possibilities and look for God’s interrupting hand at work. Sometimes, it’s the interruptions in our lives that can become filled with divine purpose.

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