Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Tangled Web of Steps

Got to thinking about the one and only blind date I ever went on. It was not a Valentine’s Day event, but this past week of celebrating love got me reflecting back to that key moment and how it changed my life forever. The planned double date included another couple. But then it got complicated. As Sir Walter Scott wrote in the play Marmion, “Oh what a tangled web we weave ...”

The other couple were friends of mine, he being a fraternity brother and his girlfriend was Jill (name changed). There was an upcoming frat party and Jill had a friend who wanted to attend the party. The schedule would work out well for her since her steady boyfriend was away at school. She would be able to go and her boyfriend would have no clue. Now all they had to do was find a date for Jill’s friend. That’s where I came into the picture.

My fraternity brother and Jill tried to convince me to go on a double date with them. I resisted because I had already been dating someone and recently broke off the relationship. I was in engineering school at the time and had little free time or money to maintain a relationship. I did not want to get involved in a blind date. My friend’s girlfriend begged me to go out just once with her good friend. In a moment of weakness, I agreed reluctantly with the double date proposal.

But the web became more tangled when the other half of my blind date learned her boyfriend was coming home from college unexpectedly. She canceled out. If my friends had told me I would have been happy to cancel the date myself!

Instead my friend and Jill scrambled to find me a substitute date for the party. Jill was in nursing school and zeroed in on one young lady. She declined the whole idea. She had no interest in blind dates. Pleading did not help. The answer was no, no! But perseverance paid off and she finally acquiesced. And the rest is history. The last-minute substitute date turned out later to be my future wife.

The Lord has a way of making sense out of the muddle of life. Humans, by nature, tend to weave tangled paths through life. We cannot always make sense of all the stops and detours we encounter.

When that happens, reflect upon Proverbs 16:9 - “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”

The Lord does not wish for us to live chaotically. But it does happen. We are left with two choices. Face the confusion and do our best to moderate our circumstances. Or, trust in the Lord that our steps are ordered and believe there will be a Godly outcome even when it’s not the one we wanted. Being at peace is a choice.
I never expected to meet my future wife on that double date. But that outcome was infinitely better than I could have planned or anticipated.

Robert Parlante
February 2017

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