Thursday, November 03, 2005

an aphorism

My girlfriend turned me on to an interview on NPR this week. Bob Geary was talking about his new book The World in a Phrase. In the interview, the author mentions a famous five-word aphorism that has been bouncing around in my head ever since she quoted it to me on the phone.

"Man's Accidents are God's Purposes."
This aphorism originated with the wife of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sophia Hawthorne in 1843. It was written on the pane of an upper window of their home. Around the time that was written, she is believed to have had a miscarriage.

To me, it tidily sums up what a believer's response should be to disappointment. I've had a touch of disappointment of my own this week. In short, I wasn't given a job interview for a position that I felt that I was a strong candidate for. At first, I thought: "there must be some mistake." But as the week has progressed, it's increasingly clear to me that I was not considered at all-- which still smarts, even as I type this.

But when I reflect back upon this simple phrase, I am comforted in the knowledge that although I know not what the future holds, I do KNOW who does. And I know that God has good plans for me. Plans for me to prosper. I'm taking God at His word today, and not dwelling on mine or anyone else's 'accidents.'
I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out--plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
--Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)

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