I long thought that the quote Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans was from Mark Twain. However, a little googling this morning has it attributed to John Lennon, who adapted it from others. No matter, this quote is the epitome of our life this past year.

A year ago, we were packing; now we’re unpacking, but not where we expected to be—at all. A year ago, I was applying for jobs in higher education. For twenty-six years I had poured my heart and soul into the residence life program at Berry College and we thought for sure that God would lead us to a similar position at another college. Not to be, for, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

On Saturday, as I lay down to sleep in our new apartment, I thought, “who would have ever thought we’d be living in Macon, Georgia?” These two yankees have had, if nothing else, an adventure. Bilbo Baggins’ adventure involved fighting dragons—ours, not so much—well, maybe a few metaphorical dragons, but we escaped their lair a year ago. Nevertheless, Bilbo’s adventure has nothing on us.

So, our plans were to move to another city, work at a college and live happily-ever-after. Though it’s been tough, I would not trade this year, for it has been a year of growth. There have been phone, Skype and on-campus interviews, an exploration of going back into campus ministry, a dog bite, a concussion, and rejection letters/emails by the dozens—but there was also a “yes” letter!

Perhaps the Apostle James was the first to hit upon the essence of life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. In the fourth chapter of his epistle, he wrote:

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. 15 What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

It has been said that when you’re doing God’s will things fall into place. I don’t know that I believe that totally—for Christians suffer and die everyday. But, I can attest to the fact that things have fallen into place for us since we made the decision to give up on higher education and focus on my job at PeachMac—getting a full-time position, an affordable place to live, unexpected financial assistance, having the pet deposit waived, benefits beginning August 1 instead of October 1 and getting a bonus at work for the month of July.

Stay tuned for more adventures from Glenridge Drive…