The year is 2030. I pull up on my driveway as the sun takes one last glance at the world it has granted light all day, with a promise to be back tomorrow. Did I mention it is a beautiful black car? My children, in a bout of euphoria over their mother’s arrival, scurry out to jump into my arms, very nearly toppling us all over. Of course I scold that I am not their father and cannot roughhouse with them, an utterance that will be heeded by none, as their curious little noses will already be buried in the bags in the car, in search of goodies.
We get into the house and I begin to whip up a meal after settling in (‘whip up’ because I have since rid myself of all the awkward clumsiness I had in the kitchen in my early twenties, and making a pumpkin pie risotto is about as challenging as batting an eyelid), as my children stumble over each other in a competition to prove to me who had the most interesting day at school insert motherly chuckle here. And what sort of mother would I be if, after hearing about how Shanice from Yellow Class is having a big birthday party next week, I didn’t dismiss them to their homework promptly? We mothers must early plant the seeds of intellectual excellence on the virgin (but fertile, because they will inherit their brains from us) land that is their minds.
Their father, with all of his chocolate-skinned goodness arrives a little later. I smile as I hear his car pull up, him getting out and beginning to walk to the door before remembering his phone, which he has left in the car. He does it every time, complete with the groan that says he knows I will make fun of the habit yet again. His cologne precedes him, immediately filling my senses, more so as his hands wrap around my waist as he kisses me hello, I’ve missed you. The moment is interrupted when the kids abandon all motivation for academic achievement at the sound of their father’s voice. Again with the roughhousing, only for real this time. They are soon a giggly mess, each speaking faster than their thoughts can be processed. It’s adorable and I watch in motherly fondness before rallying the troops to set the table. Supper is a cacophonous ceremony, and I love it. The children fight over the last piece, over what movie is the coolest, over who has the most toys. My husband talks about his day, asks about how my second novel is coming along, how things at work are, how we must buy land on the outskirts of Nairobi because real estate has never been better.…
I have always been the dreamy kind. The type to wander off into some imagined future in the middle of a conversation about the political situation in Africa. Of course hardly ever do they come to pass. I blame this on my idealistic tendencies, always wanting things to work out just right, the way I believe it should be. The world doesn’t like to work like that though. Things must go wrong. Or go another kind of right. And I know I’m not alone in this my ‘wishful thinking’. Really, don’t we all want things to go our way?
At my age, it is easy to dream and plan how life will go. What silliness, to imagine that we can map out the exact course that we want to follow. And it’s not our fault. Failing to plan is planning to fail…that’s how it goes, no? And there is a truckload of truth in that, I don’t deny it. You don’t just start going when you don’t have an idea where you’re heading to. But the question is: why bother planning your life when history has shown that life does not care about your plans? Almost everyone I know who is in their middle and late adulthood confesses that at twenty, they didn’t envision themselves where they are today.
Would you draw yourself a map to a place you don’t know so that it can help you get there? I wouldn’t. Especially not with my sense of direction, which qualifies as ‘worrying’ by all standards. And especially not when a map of that place already exists. Yet this is the very thing I am guilty of doing when it comes to my own life.
Why do we constantly insist on mapping the route we’ll take on the journey of our lives when God already promised that He knows the plans He has for us? Why don’t we just ask Him, “Okay, God. I’m here…where do we turn next?” Apparently it’s not just men who don’t like asking for directions even when it will save them a lot of trouble. Haha.
There’s a song by Casting Crowns that I love. I’ll just go ahead and put some of the lyrics here:
“When I’m lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Coz You’re already there, You’re already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
You’re already there, You’re already there…”
Pretty deep, right? That our futures are a memory to Him? He already knows. So what if my life doesn’t turn out the way I plan? What if I don’t drive that sleek, black beauty that I dream of? What if I can’t have children? What if I never get married? What if my dreams of penning emotion-triggering stories come to naught? Or if I never learn how to make a risotto? I don’t even know what a risotto is, to be honest. Will God still be God?
I think so.
And I think that maybe instead of making our own plans then expecting God to get with the program… Instead of hating Him for not giving us what we wanted when we wanted it… Instead of losing years in search of our purpose and using the longer, harder route because we wanted to do it on our own…Maybe we could just ask for His directions and follow them, knowing that no matter what we think, He knows the way.
Author: Michelle Korir
Michelle Chepchumba is contributor at Wanjiru Kihusa. She loves cats and enjoys reading and writing in an attempt to discover the mysteries of the human mind. She also works in mental health and writes about life at www.thescroll.co.ke.