I recently had an epiphany about God's Plan for our lives. I won't tell you every detail but it compared it to the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. At first glance to the men in the crows nest that night the giant iceberg looked like three small detached icebergs (because they had only their natural vision and no binoculars). By the time the ship got close enough for them to realize it was one mammoth iceberg, it was too late to change course.
Now, icebergs are about 7/8 under water...with only 1/8 showing above the water. That smaller part which is showing is like the part of God's Plan we can see with our natural eyes. The larger part of His Plan is all the arrangements He had to make beyond our natural vision so we could see that part which is visible "above the water of our unknowing."
I am also reminded that all the extraordinary people we have met and all the fascinating places we have visited and all the incredible experiences we have had began after we stepped out of our comfort zone. None of these events in our lives would have happened had we remained in Rome as we wanted to. But, God intervened. He first "invited" us to leave and then He "nudged" us to leave. Soon after that, we had no recourse but to leave and that's when it got exciting!
As we were discussing these sorts of things in our weekly Bible study, I used the analogy of the ferry. At first, it's just a wee little speck on the distant horizon. Then, as it draws nearer to port, it looms larger and larger. It comes up to the docking area and it's just fascinating to watch the pilot turn that huge thing around in what, compared to the Sound, is a bathtub.
One of our Bible study members is a lifelong sailor (as in real sailboats). He pointed out that most of the stability of a sailing vessel is under water. The ballast is there. The keel is there. The rudder is there. The sails which are above the water provide speed and direction but what keeps the boat afloat is below the surface of the water.
Perhaps that's true of God's Plan for our lives. We see just the part that contributes speed and direction but the stability, the safety factor if you will, is provided beyond our immediate sight. So, when things get tough and the seas get choppy, it's helpful to remember where our ballast is.
These two parallel understandings have kept down the angst over the years as doors have opened before us as others closed behind us. Someday, we will see the whole pattern but, for now, we're quite content with what has been revealed. As our former pastor says, "Truth is like throwing fruit at a barn door. You can't miss it but the splat you make will never cover the entire subject."