God’s Purple Plan

July 1, 2006

You are HereAs I was praying this morning, I remembered a story from Sunday School in my childhood.

I was probably in 3rd or 4th grade, and I don’t remember all the details.

What I do remember is talking about God’s plan for me.  We talked about God’s plan for each of us.  There was a picture of a tree, and each of us got to draw our picture on one of the branches of the tree, because we were all part of the master plan, the family of God.

I think I’ve got that right anyway – it was more than twenty years ago!  What we talked about mostly was how God had a big plan for everybody in the whole world and that the plan included me.  Somehow the color purple was tied into the theme (why?  who knows), and we had a 3rd grade lesson plan.

Anyway – I was remembering that this morning- or being reminded of it this morning, or something- and was amazed.  Here I am, packing up my house (or needing to pack up my house) for my move to Austin for seminary and playing my part in this plan.  How wonderful that even back there in the 3rd grade God had this plan for me.  That God knew where he wanted me to go, and allowed me to make the decisions to have me end up right here, right now.

On this great journey of faith, on this great walk- this morning was a small “time-out” to say “you are here” on the road-map.  And I like the progress I’ve made.  I like the direction I’m headed.  I like the place where I am.  That’s a good place to be.  It feels good.

I was watching an interview with an author on a Bill Moyers show last night and when asked if she had done enough, or when she thought she would do enough, she said, “no- because I’m alive.”  What a great answer.

It is so easy to become stagnant.  To be comfortable with where we are.  To set up shop and stay for a while.

I believe there is value in being aware of where we are.  Of being appreciative of the place we are on the road.  Of stopping, taking a deep breath, and being thankful for what we have and where we are.

But to stop for too long, to keep ourselves from moving forward, to inhibit the drive we have within ourselves to move forward, is to surpress the Holy Spirit working within us.  We have a deep need burning within us to grow.  We have to feed that fire, to let it burn bright- to let that light shine.

When we do, we can follow that path, we can live out that “purple plan,” we find our place and live into the abundant grace of God and push ourselves forward- sometimes uncomfortably- to yield great results.  We do this not for ourselves, but for our community.  For our brothers and sisters, for our God.  And, as a result, we find ourselves along the way.  We discoverer that the true joy of self is in giving, the love of self and the love of others are inextricably bound together with the love of God, and we move forward.

We get purpler and purpler, living fully into the plan laid before us.  What a great trip it is.

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