My wife likes to keep a planner. I do not. It's not as though I do a lot of planning anymore. This past year especially, I tend to live one day at a time. She coordinates the appointments and I just show up. My wife’s planner is something of a combination calendar, file, address book, scrapbook and journal. She keeps track of all kinds of things that I just plain forget about. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduation dates, doctor appointments, medications. She keeps all of her old planners for reference. Its like a resource center at a university library. It’s the planner that keeps on giving. If you want to know when something significant happened in our family, chances are, she has it written down somewhere in one of her planners with all the details necessary. Not that she is forgetful, on the contrary. She tends to be something of a savant compared to me. She is a numbers person. I am not. I don’t have enough appendages to perform anything more than simple math. She is a payroll accountant for the local water district. She accurately computes complex figures in her head faster than a calculator. She can tell you the birthdays of all the day care kids that she had 30 years ago. Out of the blue she will say to me “ today is Trevors birthday. He’ll be this old now.” I will usually respond, Trevor who? It was a good thing it was my brain that needed the overhaul and not her’s. Where my brain is a Ford, her brain is a Lamborghini. I keep track of really important things like the starting lineup for 1972 Lakers or the name of the traveling salesman in Little Big Man.
My wife brings her planner with her to all my appointments. My doctors know that the appointment isn’t over until she puts the planner down. She takes notes so later on when I say to her “what the heck did he say?” She will pull out her planner and give me a recap. She’s like having a personal secretary with me all the time. I have to be careful with this though. She is a stickler for details. Nothing gets by her. Armed with her planner she is downright deadly. This habit of record keeping has served the family well on more than one occasion but I have also lost my share of disagreements because of it.
The planner is like taking a snapshot of our lives. There was a time when it was filled with things like best friends, ball games and birthday parties. Now its filled with the unplanned. We just want to get through the day. Pile on everyday chores and the idea of planning anything seems almost laughable. Asking us for more than what we’ve already been handed at this point is too much. Juggling doctors appointments, pharmacies, and insurance companies leaves little time, energy or desire for anything else.
If only we could just plan our lives like placing an order at a fine restaurant. I’ll have the successful career along with good health please, and throw in a couple hundred acres of prime woodland, and a yellow Labrador. I have to wonder if God gets a good laugh when he sees us making all our plans. You might think you’re going to that event next month but I wouldn’t count on it if I were you. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” Proverbs 19:21. Thank GOD! I wouldn’t want some amateur running things. The bigger the problem, the more we want a professional to take over. “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.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
My wife will continue to use her planners. We still hope to take that trip someday, God willing. It may not be when or where we planned, but chances are my wife will have it penciled in her planner.