Best laid plans… (July)

James Cathcart July 05, 2020 0

July 2020 (5 July - 1 August). See the Resource Pack PDF for full details including weekly subthemes and daily prompts and Bible readings. See the Discussion Group Questions PDF to see the material adapted for small groups.

Sometimes things don’t go to plan. As Robert Burns, Scotland’s national bard, says in his poem To a Mouse “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men / Gang aft agley” [thanks to Edward Steel for illustrating the incredible theme image above]. The line comes after the narrator has stumbled across a wee timorous beastie with his plough. The ploughman didn’t plan to engage in rodent demolition and the furry critter certainly wasn’t expecting it.

Sometimes we are the mouse — with home and life and gravity turned suddenly upside down.

Sometimes we are the plough — blundering in, oblivious, confused.

And sometimes we are the poet — looking on, feeling keenly and kindly.

This month we are going to consider what happens when things don’t go to plan. When there’s a sudden departure that turns a humdrum chapter into a crucial plot point. Sometimes we plan for excitement and adventure and find instead we are faced with tedium and frustration. Sometimes we plan for happiness and wonder and instead come across devastation and loss. And sometimes we plan for disappointment, loneliness and despair and instead find joy and blessing and delight.

Through it all we hold on to the fact that plan or no plan, mouse or man — our God loves us and travels with us through all the twists and turns — promising hope and restoration and beauty and justice and mercy.

See the Resource Pack PDF for more information including weekly subthemes and daily Bible readings and prompts. See the Discussion Group Questions PDF to see the material adapted for a small group context.