But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
When Robert Burns wrote these words in 1785, he drew inspiration from a plow upturning a field mouse’s nest. While he obviously translated the travails of his mousie to a more universal idea, I doubt even Bobby Burns would have dreamed that his words would become one of the most quoted phrases in the world: “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.”
Oft quoted, probably because so many of us can relate to that “wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie,” especially when the world plays havoc with our lives.
I’ve had an interesting summer, can you tell?
In the four years I had a day job, I made quite the little mouse nest. Good salary, benefits, appropriate schedule. Everyone was relatively healthy, and my bills were paid on time. I freelanced some—and sold my first three Love Inspired Suspense novels. Life was lovely, and I counted many blessings and praised God.
Then came the plow.
Everything in the nest went topsy-turvy. Life still seems pretty catty-wonkered and dark, timorous and cowering. The list of trials is long and, frankly, rather boring unless you’re trying to survive them. No matter what I plan, nothing works the way it’s supposed to from day to day. I can depend on nothing happening the same way twice, not even my alarm clock. I’ve stopped volunteering and making promises because something always trips me up, and I’m pretty tired of disappointing folks.
So what am I doing about it? I mean, other than chewing Tums by the bottle.
I’m counting blessings and praising God. Always a good start. Following His guidance, even if I think it's going to bring more dark before the dawn. Hanging on to sanity with my fingernails, trying to come to grips with the idea that there may never again be a “normal” because life changes daily.
And clinging to the one and only thing that never does change. For He will, in fact, bring the dawn and guide me home.
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.
Ps. 138:7-8 NIV