I had just descended the hill from my morning walk when I came across quite a lot of goats! But this particular one was right there in front of me, blocking my path back to the center.
Could I just slide past him, politely excusing myself? Despite the fact I'm a farmer's daughter, I'm not up on goat etiquette and went with my gut which said to find another way. So I ducked left over a bush, into a ditch, and across a few meters of a field to respect the animal known for butting anyone that gets in its way!
It got me thinking about how sometimes things get in our way to keep us from moving forward, at least according to the path we had planned to take. In our training here, we devoted the entire week's sessions and homework to Master Planning, an exercise designed to create a plan that states your purpose, needs, areas of life/ministry, etc. in order to create goals. One column in the plan is called roadblocks and actually considers those things that keep us from advancing.
Then I "happened to" read Acts 16 this morning, where I was reminded that sometimes the seeming roadblocks are the Lord Himself!! In the passage, Paul wanted and planned to go to Asia to share the Gospel. Sounds like a good, God-approved plan, right? But scripture says twice that the Lord kept them from going!!! And if we read on, we find out that they were led by God to Europe, (Yay!) where many who were crying out to God needed to hear the Gospel not only heard, but believed. (And in case you're wondering, Paul actually would go later to Asia.) But the point is that God Himself "got in the way."
So maybe next time there's a goat in the road, and we're forced to take a different path we weren't planning on taking, it's worth checking in with God to see if His Spirit is the "culprit" because He has a different plan than we expected.
And just as each of us here who have created Master Plans for ministry will submit them to those in authority over us, may we submit the "Master Plans" of our lives to our Lord who has the perspective we lack and knows how to refine our purpose statements, goals and plans to be all that God created us to be.
"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand." Proverbs 19:21