As a student teacher I was introduced to ‘lesson preparation’… preparing what I was going to teach and how I was going to teach it.
I’ve spent my life preparing for the next activity or event in the family, school, church. The old perceived wisdom says: ‘Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance.’
Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. Rachel and I went out for lunch. We tried to recall the preparation and planning that went into our wedding, the reception, our first flat, buying our first house… Many memories were hazy.
Today friends and family are joining us to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The planning’s been going on for weeks; much of yesterday was spent preparing… food, drink … checking the weather forecast, tidying the garden… gazebos, seating… Daughter Jo brought balloons and decorations.
‘Have we remembered…?’ ‘What if…?’ ‘Should we have…?’
Musing… however good our preparation and planning there is so much in life that’s outside our control. Well-prepared school lessons can go disastrously badly – unprepared lessons can be a huge success.
We brought up three children in the same home, the same opportunities, the same preparation and planning…. They’ve turn out totally different…
Yesterday afternoon we visited a friend who’s dying. No planning could have prepared the family for her sickness. Her husband is preparing her funeral – the one bit he has some control of…
I return to Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks): ‘My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’
I balance that with St Paul’s statement of faith: ‘I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I’ve entrusted to him…’
Today – we hope all goes well; that we have a good day with family and friends; that the preparation and planning will pay off.
The future – we shall continue to prepare and plan. Yet so much is unknown and outside our control. And we entrust our God with that.