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Man Plans, and God Laughs

John W. Pinkerton


As we are worrying about our plans for our futures, the world has its own plans to make us forget them…and sometimes not in a nice way.

My goal is not to remind us of how wonderful the world really is but is to warn ya'll that, although wonderful, it's an unpredictable place.  Surely by this point in your life, you may have noticed this as a possibility.

John was plowing a field on his family farm one day, and the next day he was at Normandy trying not to be killed by strangers. I imagine John was planning to be harvesting the corn that day.

In 1929 all was right with the world as far as John the banker was concerned.  The next morning there was a run on the bank and John was suddenly as poor as a church mouse.

Jon in Nagasaki was going about his daily chores and planning his afternoon and evening activities, and suddenly he was  evaporated.

John of Pompeii was shaking off his morning drowsiness but only had time to say, “What the Hell is that.”

Our President John was touring Dallas with his wife participating in a motor parade.  He never finished the route---a bad day for John and the country.

In 1986 the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger lifted off from Cape Canaveral with high hopes.  73 seconds later, the space shuttle and its crew were no more.

A day in November  1991 dawned like most other days.  The Cold War had a fifty year history.  The war was just a fact of life.  Suddenly the wall fell and countries captured  and held prisoners after WWII, were suddenly free, and the Soviet Union was once again Russia.  No one foresaw that happening.  So much for Soviet plans.

Folks working in the Twin Towers were one moment worrying about how to make another dollar for their companies and the next moment wondering what the Hell just hit them.

One of my favorite expressions is the Yiddish adage, “Man plans, and God laughs.”

Does anyone expect the world to remain frozen to allow our “plans” to reach fulfillment. 

I don't, and you shouldn't either.

Things that we are concerned about today may not even be on our radar a couple of years from now.

North Korea's Kim Jung-un may just say,  “To Hell with it,” and send an atomic missile to our West Coast. 

Putin, not having the funds to properly maintain Russia's atomic arsenal, may lose control of it and unintentionally blow up folks.

Meantime, the radical Islamists want to blow up everyone who doesn't worship Allah.

The political parties may decide that enough is enough and suddenly sing Kumbaya.  I just threw that in to provide a little humor.

Hell, we may wake up one morning and the Martians have landed on the White House grounds.  That will be a game changer.

I started out in life wanting to be a cowboy, then a writer, then an architect, then a prince as evidenced by my major, English, but I ended up teaching high school English for twenty-five years and being a librarian for ten.

Being that the rock bottom foundation of my life's philosophy is, “Show up and see what happens,” I can't pretend to be disappointed by my “plans” not working out the way I had expected.

Make plans if you must, but don't act surprised when they don't work out the way you intended.