Friday, January 19, 2018

For I Know The Plans I Have For You

Should you ever have a crisis in your life, it's pretty much guaranteed that at least one uber-religious friend or family member will point you to Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."

Many take comfort in this verse, but it always bothered me.

For if God's plan was to prosper and not to harm me, then why was I always being...well...HARMED? Was something getting in the way of God's plan? Was it me!?!? **Enter the pangs of (now Jewish) guilt.**

Or, if it wasn't MY fault, was it someone else's? Which one of you bastards screwed up the awesome plans God had for me? Or did God do it? Did He have good plans for me but just got busy and shit hit the fan while He was off baking God Pies or something?

So I pretty much avoided this verse whenever I skidded into times of trouble. At best it brought guilt. At worst it brought anger and resentment.

But here's the thing - in the original Hebrew, the word translated now as "plans" is NOT "plans."

The word in Hebrew is more directly/better translated as "thoughts."

Substitute "thoughts" where "plans" usually is and ruminate on that for a minute.

I'll wait...

Have you done it yet?

Y'all - this difference opened up a WHOLE NEW WORLD for me.


Because in changing "plans" back to its original "thoughts," the verse takes on a new meaning.

The change means 1. God didn't have an awesome plan for me that I fucked up. I am off the hook!

2. You bastards didn't fuck it up either! You are off the hook.

3. God didn't screw up and forget about me while He was off making His #GodPies.

and 4. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY - It means that, when God thinks of me (hey y'all - GOD THINKS OF ME!), He thinks GOOD things!

That's right, despite the myriad of things I've done wrong - ALL OF WHICH HE KNOWS ABOUT - He still thinks well of me anyway. He still wants and hopes for good things for me regardless.

This is SO POWERFUL to me.

How many times, as flawed humans, do we secretly (or not so secretly) hope that those people who have wronged us would get hit by a train? Serves 'em right, I say! And those that REALLY hurt us? A GREAT, BIG TRAIN that backs up at least once to hit 'em a second time!

But not God.

Despite me (and you bastards) doing at least one thing every day that's out of line and should piss Him off, God still thinks GOOD things about me. And you.

Yes you! Even if you're a lowlife bastard who everyone else thinks should be run over repeatedly by the great big train.

I hope that makes you feel good - genuinely LOVED - inside.

And I hope it makes each of us think a little higher of and be a little kinder to each other, too.

Because if God can love you, you jerk bastard, I should at least try. And I hope you'll do the same for me.

L'chaim, y'all.

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