“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
(Proverbs 16:9, NLT)
I love pencils.
I always have. Some people love a good pen but my instrument of choice has always been a pencil.
The start of school always meant the purchase of a new box of #2 lead pencils. Sharpening each pencil brought the comforting smell of wood and lead as I cranked the handle on our sharpener. It was fun to see how long I could get the shavings before they broke off.
Some things one never outgrows. While the sharpener is now electric, I still love pencils. And one of the best birthday gifts I received was a package of Vera Bradley pencils. I kid you not.
There is something special about the use of a pencil. My books are underlined, notes written in the margin, arrows leading from one thing to the next – all done in pencil.
But the eraser on the top is of equal importance. The ability to erase, without any detection of error, so that my papers look neat is critical to me.
Perhaps life should be written with pencils which have great erasers.
We tend to “ink” our own thoughts and plans, expecting them to remain concrete. And yet much of life is fluid, constantly changing.
Our plans change but our steps are determined by God, who is sovereign over all …
“Whether one makes detailed plans or resorts to casting lots, events and circumstances are all in God’s control. As such the wise are cautious but above all put their faith in God and not human plans.”
(The New American Commentary, Volume 14, page 155)
Maybe that’s the reason I love pencils. With pencil in hand, I can make changes which are undetectable. I can have a plan but I must give way to God’s steps, realizing He always knows better than I do and the outcome will be something unanticipated.
My plans must be made in pencil.
His steps are in ink.