So let me start this morning by telling you that I believe that there is a plan for my life. In fact I believe that there is a plan for every life, just as there is for mine. You may not believe this way and that’s okay, we can still be friends. I don’t think that the plan is an all inclusive set of detailed blueprints like you’d find at a Donald Trump construction site. In my way of thinking, it’s more like an IKEA set . You know, the big picture, I’m not really sure what this is saying in Swedish, kind of plan where you can get a general idea of what is being communicated and a general idea when it’s all done whether or not you got the chairs or the table in this box. There are two reasons why I feel strongly about the existence of these plans. The first one centers around my faith and the words that have been recorded for me in the “Book of Books”. In the grander story of the grander plan, I can picture my own story intertwined, and just as an author develops an intentional course for every character in their own books, The Author has developed one for my character…hero or villain I’m not yet sure. I’m just sure that a plan exists.
The second reason is by my own personal experience and observation. Whenever I am blessed with an IKEA project, about the only thing clear to me is the picture of the finished product. I can stumble my way along towards what I think will lead me to the end. Sometimes, it is way too easy to wander off target, and then I feel the frustration begin to build. At times, to be honest, I need to invest in a complete “do-over” . I consider myself to be fairly mechanically competent. I can just imagine the frustration level of those who are not. Most of the time, I just wish they could have, by mistake, sent me directions with words that are in English and make sense. One without the other is of no use either. Or better yet, if I could just get some intelligent direction from that Swede who designed the thing in the first place, then maybe I could make some progress. I see the same thing going on in real life for me and every other person I encounter. We’re all trying to figure it out. We all get frustrated. Sometimes we get desperate and do desperate things to try and achieve the picture on the box. It doesn’t really matter whether or not you believe that there’s a picture on your box and that the inner parts should resemble this picture when they’re all assembled. Our intellect can’t forever deny what our conscience has already determined. Some things are just true whether we believe them or not.
These particular plans are often accompanied by packages of various assorted hardware. Usually there is more than one package. This is where the difficulty lies and interpretation is the key. Careful scrutiny of the hardware and comparing it to the drawing is absolutely essential, otherwise a trip to customer service is almost guaranteed. Looking at my life, the realities and possibilities, in light of the grander picture, can ensure some measure of success. Sometimes I have a tendency to guess, and this has a tendency to lead to mistake, which in turn leads to frustration, then desperation, and sometimes disaster. When I wanted a chair, it seems that I’ve constructed a sofa sleeper, and I don’t have to tell you how worthless those things can be.
So I have some choices. I can do some good picture comparison and see where it leads. I could learn Swedish, but I’m not really sure that those plans are really accurate uses of the actual language. I could also get to know the designer himself and have him assemble it with me, obviously the most inconvenient, but the most likely to lead me to the finished project. The only other option available is to take my chances and see what turns out in the end, but I’ve already been to customer service more times than I care to remember.