The danger of frost is over, so I decided it would be okay to plant seeds outside. Being the planner that I am, I read the back of the seed packets and started looking forward to seeing my Columbine seedlings sprout in 22-30 days and my impatiens germinate in 10 days. I was trying to guess how long it would be before I saw blooms.
But a squirrel came by looking for lunch. He dug up my dirt and seeds and threw out my plans.
It’s gardening, these things happen, and I got over it. A gardener advised me to start over, putting chicken wire on top of my pots to keep the animals away. Meanwhile, this experience got me thinking about timelines. Sometimes I feel as though the flowerpot of my life has been knocked over. Things often don’t go as I plan, and even good changes can be surprising and overwhelming.
When I think about timelines now, I remember a snowy day this past winter when I helped paint a friend’s house. I was with some ladies who have more life experience than I do. We were painting a little girl’s room a bold pink. The conversation turned toward the pregnancy of a mutual friend, and the best age to become a grandparent. In all of my planning and dreaming about the best age to get married and have children, the timing of becoming a grandparent had never even crossed my mind! I couldn’t imagine trying to plan that.
I said something like, “Well, things don’t always go according to our timelines,” because I was disappointed that I hadn’t received something I’d wanted yet. The two ladies agreed. And as they dipped their brushes in the bubble-gum pink paint, I thought about their lives, and I knew they understood. Each of them could have told me how much easier my life was than theirs, but neither did. We just painted together, and I found comfort in being with people who know that God is sovereign over the timelines of our lives.