The other day I was visiting a friend who said something pretty interesting. She quoted her friend saying:
"I know how to make God laugh. Tell Him you have plans."
First of all I had to laugh. That is so ridiculously true. How many times have we made any kind of plans in our lives that turn out exactly the way we expected? Maybe it's only me, but things usually just don't pan out the way I expect them to.
There are lots of perfectly innocent reasons for not fulfilling our plans. Maybe a new opportunity comes up that looks a bit better. Perhaps we change our mind or just lose interest in our goal. Sometimes we hear an experience or get some advice that points us in another direction. These and other similar events happen frequently and are generally easy to handle because we are still 'in control'.
However, sometimes our plans get derailed by forces beyond our control. Could be bad health, unemployment, divorce, a death, war, a natural disaster, getting cheated or stolen from, etc. Chances are you or someone very near to you has experienced one of these life changing events. One might say, "Why? I planned to do so much with my life! I had so much potential! Was I doing something wrong? What did I do to deserve this? If God loves me why would He let this happen??"
When life gets hard, it's easy to get caught in this pattern on thinking. This mindset comes when we get so focused on the disruptions in our personal plans that we lose sight of the greatest of all plans: God's plan. President Spencer W. Kimball, one of God's modern day prophets, gave a great talk that has really stuck with me. In it he says:
"If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective."
That is the idea!!!!
President Kimball goes on to say, "Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?"
My friends, bad things can, do, and will happen. This life is not easy. We can't see the future. We can and should try and plan for it, but we must always remember that our Heavenly Father is in control.
So does God laugh when we make plans? Who am I to say. BUT I know that if we trust that our Father has a plan for our eternal happiness, then we can always face our future, whatever it may be, with "a perfect brightness of hope." (2 Nephi 31:20)