My Life with God

The Firepit and Flexibility

My annual writing retreat is typically during the winter months. The group risks wintry weather, but we rarely leave the house. It’s easier to get away during the colder months, and house rates are lower.

This year, there would be several cold or snowy days we’d stay inside, but one day midweek promised warmer temps—warm enough we thought we’d be able to gather around the beautiful firepit on the lower level. We’d have to watch the smoke for breathing purposes, but if nothing else, we could get our annual group photo outside. Someone picked up dry wood, and it caught fire quickly, but it also smoked—directly into where we needed to stand for the photo because of the sun’s location.

It was a nice try. We still got a quick outside photo, just not by the firepit. Good thing we’re flexible. We hustled inside and sat in front of the fake fire for our evening gathering.

Our plans don’t always end up the way we want. The firepit time at the retreat is a small example. It seems insignificant, but we’ve all been in situations where the slightest change in plans derails us. We get frustrated, impatient, or angry. We’re not always great at adjustments. We might think others’ struggles to adjust are trivial, but if we look at ourselves honestly enough, we’ll find some examples in our own. Flexibility or patience isn’t a natural response. We like things our way, the ways we plan.

It’s not easy but it’s much wiser to try to live by a slight-but-significant adjustment to our typical approach. Let’s replace We like things our way, the ways we plan to I’m trying to like things God’s way, the ways he plans.

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