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Plans of mice and men

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"Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!/It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!" n1 lamented Robert Burns when he had unwittingly turned up a mouse's home with his plow. On reading those lines I could sympathize with Burns, but I actually felt more like the mouse!

n1 Robert Burns, "To a Mouse";

No, my house hadn't fallen down around my head, but plans to enlarge it had. Our family had grown considerably, and with sleeping quarters minimal, something had to be done.

We thought we knew what it was. We would build an extension to the north. Original house plans included drawings that showed us how to do just that.

But before long we found to our dismay that our building plans meant breaking a city regulation. It seemed the extended house would be coming a few feet too near our neighbor's lot line.

Applications were made, meetings attended, and finally we were given a variance. But winter had set in rather early that year, and in our part of the world we don't undertake a major building project once that happens.

I thought of Burns's poem: "Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste,/An' weary winter comin fast." Later the poet says: But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane, In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft a-gley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain For promis'd joy.

Then, and only then, did I wake up. Could it be that I'd got so involved with what i felt was needed that I'd let human will take the place of prayer? I knew that Christ Jesus, under far more difficult circumstances, had prayed, "Thy will be done," n2 and I resolved to do the same. As I reached out to my Father-Mother God with all the humility I could muster, it became clear that I'd have to find a better sense of home right where I was.

n2 Matthew 26:42;


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