Deo Volante


calendarThis is my year of listening.

I’ve been reminded and reminding myself of that. I’m once again finding myself at a place in transition, and in the process of growing older, I am realizing that life is, by definition, transition. It’s not a static thing at all.

And since listening is my theme for the year, I think this is my scripture piece for the year:

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. -James 4:13-17

There’s a saying -a little abbreviation, “D.V.”- that occurs in the church bulletin occasionally that I had to ask about years ago, when I was still a newbie to things Dutch and reformed and all that. It stands for “Deo volante,” and translates, I’m told, to “God willing.” As in, “If the Lord wills, we will meet on Tuesday and eat pork sandwiches to raise funds for the youth group.”

Sounds almost silly when you put it that way, and some would perhaps argue that God isn’t really interested in willing insignificant details like the communal serving and eating of pork sandwiches, but it’s a handy little reminder that we acknowledge that all we do –every step, every plan, every word we speak is allowed through His will. The seconds of the moments of the hours of our days are all woven in His intention. I think that is the spirit in which James speaks. Yes, we make our plans, but if we fail to listen first to His will and direction, our plans will be a frustration and potentially an embarrassment to us –if not worse.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day will bring.” -Prov. 27:1

If I had five dollars for every frustrated plan I’ve held in the last year alone, I’d …well, I might be driving a different vehicle. I started this school year intending to teach Corwin at home. He’s now happily back in the classroom, and I have to admit, it’s working better for us as a family this way. Until September, we figured we’d be renting our little townhouse for another few years. In November, we moved into our house, and in December, it really became our house. A year or two ago, I was searching for a job. I’m still a full-time-at-home mom, and enjoying the job of making what God provides work on one income. Two years ago, I was starting back to college. …All those thwarted plans –but I really feel I’ve been listening and walking according to what God has shown me to be wise. I think I’m hearing another set of instructions now that I am afraid to even talk about, lest that plan turn out differently than I saw it. What I’ve learned, among other things, over the wreckage of all my “failed” plans is that God gives me a direction for today, and I tend to extrapolate that to a five-year plan. In that, I think, lies my trouble.

When my kids were toddlers, I quickly learned that it did not work to give them more than one or two instructions at a time. If I wanted help pairing up socks and putting them in the right drawer, I had to start with “find all the socks in this basket,” then, after that was done, add the instruction to match them together, then show them where to put the paired-up socks. I think I’m starting to understand that I must work the same way, when it comes to listening to God’s instructions.

So, that’s my update, I guess —Deo volante, I’m back at looking into going back to school again, just taking it one door at a time. Not sure what’ll open, but that’s where I’m headed when it comes to door knocking these days. …And I’m taking up residence here again, hoping (I should say purposing) to add my thoughts here more regularly. Deo Volante, of course.