Not As I Had Planned

This morning I was reading through my China journal, trying to remember a detail for a blog post I was writing about visiting Beijing on a Budget. Of course this led to lots of reminiscing, and then, naturally, tears when I read this:

On the bike ride back I just rode silently, humbled, as I accepted the realization that sometimes things honestly have to go wrong just so we’ll be in a certain place at a certain time. That the Lord knows me very personally—He knows what I don’t— and will bless me despite my bad attitude. That with a better attitude, that [bad] day with a great ending could’ve been a great day with a great ending. I’m learning.

After a long day of everything going the wrong way, I was just about done. It was nearly nightfall and Lance and I were finally on the bikes we’d searched for all day, only realizing we had to turn around to return them before it got too dark. My plans, oh my wonderful, detailed plans, had been dashed. Frustrated, tired and achingly aware of my inability to change the situation, I remember even feeling annoyed that I was so annoyed. We rode on, and took an unplanned route back to the bike rental station. On this new rode we spotted a few recognizable sights from months before, when we’d walked the same street with the China Horizons tour group we came to China with. Then, there, several yards in front of us stood two friends — American teachers from a group we trained in Hong Kong.

Beijing, American friends

I doubt they knew how meaningful that hour-long reunion was for me. Not only was I distracted from the problems of our day, but I was renewed in a way I hadn’t been in a long time. I think it’s natural to be affected by a bad day, or a bad situation. I think it’s normal to mourn unmet expectations and feel the natural emotions that come from life’s trials, large or small. But, I want to remember the feelings I had after that chance meeting, the ones of recognition that sometimes things go differently than planned, and yet life still works out in the end.

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