Last week, I did something that I don’t ever recall doing in all my years in business – I put a pen in my pocket without the cap and the ink stained the front of my favorite blue shirt. To be sure, it was a little embarrassing and when I took it to the cleaners in the hope of getting the stain out, they pretty much laughed at me and I knew that was the verdict that meant my shirt was heading to the trash. There was no coming back from that mistake…
For more than a week now, I have been looking around to find a replacement. At first, I tried to re-order the shirt but the particular color I like is no longer being made. Janet, in her infinite wisdom, reminded me that years ago, I purchased most of my shirts at Brooks Brothers and that became our afternoon destination today.
It has been a while since I shopped for dress shirts – the clients I serve these days all seem to believe in “business casual” – it’s so different from when I had our headquarters at Keystone at the Crossing and our office protocol called for suits and ties – and we kept our suit coats on all day! This afternoon, those days seemed like an eternity away. The business world has changed so much from when I was in the middle of growing our company. And all those memories came flooding back to me as we stood in Brooks Brothers and I bought three dress shirts.
It also hit me how much our lives have changed. How vividly I remember the kids going off to grammar school; and when I started the company. Then there was the move from our first office to the Keystone at the Crossing and the growth that resulted from that expansion. The kids moved on to high school and, eventually, college. The company continued to prosper and eventually decided that I would start seminary. It all seems to far in the rear view mirror – and all triggered because I happened to ruin a dress shirt.
Now our “kids” are older than some of the clients I consult with – Janet and I are starting the next phase of our lives, we have grandchildren entering their teens and we can hardly wait to see what God has in store for us next! The verse for tonight makes it clear that while we may not know what is next, God already has His plans all mapped out for us.
We are told, in Jeremiah 29:11-13, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
My encouragement this evening is that God already has His plans for you and they are better than any plans you can possibly imagine. My prayer is that you will accept the future that is in the will of God and that will not only embrace it, but that you will help others find their God-centered future. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…