I’d been sharpening my sword (aka my tongue and its proxy my fingers) for several days ready for a blast on the Prime Minster of Britain for the dilemma I am in. I can enumerate the reasons I can’t stand him but the main reason is, given his life of privilege, I doubt he can imagine what it is like for the ordinary person – what is referred to as the ‘other half’. But in reality it’s more like the ‘other 99 per cent’.
So many in his government have similar backgrounds , which is not surprising, as lots of research show that we tend to recruit people like us. Therefore, picture some bright young spark, (the PM’s 21 year old doppelganger) graduate of the Russell Group universities, on the Civil Service Fast Stream, wanting to make his mark. He (and it is a he – few women would be so hubristic or heuristic with other people’s lives) suggests saving money by closing all the passport offices and centralizing it to one office.
Having never lived abroad (spending summers in St Barts does not count), he has no insight to the fraughtness of living in places where you might want to escape at any moment or the law mandates you carry your ID at all times. Also, he seems unaware that when places like Qatar do public holidays; they don’t just give a ‘Bank Holiday Monday’. Starting yesterday, all government offices are closed until Tuesday 5 August. This means that even if our passports were to arrive today, I’ll still be grounded as I can’t renew my Resident’s Permit nor apply for the baby’s.
Everyone compliments him on his capital idea. And instead of checking it out with the people who work on the front line and taking a phased approach, plans are rushed to put it into place. This predicament irks not just on a personal but on a professional level, as I am a project manager.
My job involves taking the ‘blue sky’ thinking of the great and good and putting it into a list of actions, with realistic resources of people, time and finances; and dependencies; considering the issues and risks and mitigating for them. Overwhelmingly, my colleagues and I would propose a phased approach. This is not unique to us but standard operating practice for Project Managers everywhere.
This was just the warm up for the slow roasting I had planned… then a few things happened:
I was feeling so low about not going to the UK, that I dug out my ‘inspirational pile’ – a notebook where I’ve written statements from gurus and saints, and print outs of meditations and reflections from UCB word for today and Proverbs 31 ministries among others.
This helped to remind me that God’s ways are not my ways.
As the World Cup finished, I tuned back into the real world and recoiled in horror at: the downing of Malaysian Airlines jet over Ukraine, the bombardment of Gaza and the typhoons threatening the Philippines yet again.
This helped to remind me that my problems are small.
I had messages from my parents. Daddy called and in the midst of telling me of his watching the world cup in five countries, he reminded me that all disappointments are opportunities in disguise. Mummy sent me an email with Philippians 2:13 and a short reflection that encourages that we remember God’s plans are bigger than our plans even in the midst of our disappointment and discouragement.
This helped to remind me that I am blessed to have parents who continue to guide, comfort and encourage.
When your plans don’t go to… plan, what are you reminded of?