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2012-03-01 digital edition

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2012-03-01 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

“I Have a Plan for Today, But. . .”

Mildred was a spunky little lady. Thin and wiry, she cruised around with her walker, attending every activity offered at her assisted living facility. “Moving, moving, got to keep moving,” she’d say.

Straightforward and matter-of-fact, you never had to wonder what she was thinking. “People think I’m abrupt. I don’t get that,” she said, with a very serious expression.

Mildred attended every Bible Study I taught there. She was always the first one there, waiting in the same chair (her chair) when I arrived. “Well, it’s 9:32,” she’d comment. (Bible study was scheduled for 9:30).

One Friday I asked her to open us in prayer. She bowed her head, paused, and said, “Lord, I have a plan for today, but what do You want me to do?”

Shocked, I sat staring at her. Had Mildred, little Miss-everything-right-on-schedule-Mildred, actually said that?

Later she confided to me, “I’ve spent my life doing my thing, asking God to bless it. That’s backwards. I want to do His thing. Then I’m automatically blessed.”

How often do I just go along, praying that God would bless me and what I’m doing, never really asking what it is He wants me to do today?

I’m a planner. I make the plan. I work the plan. If I’m not careful, my plan can become my god. When that happens, look out.

If you pray, try this one. “Lord, I have a plan for today, but what do You want me to do?”

And look out!

Gary Roe is the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice and is interim Minister at First Baptist Church in Lexington

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