Bob Tamasy: Not at All the Way We Planned It

Monday, April 30, 2018 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

How often over your life's experience have you looked back and thought, "Well, that definitely didn't go the way I expected!"? I suspect we've all encountered circumstances like that often. Sometimes this is good; sometimes it's bad. 

An aspiring entrepreneur starts a business, full of enthusiasm, hope and dreams. A year later, she has to close it down due to too many expenses and too little revenue. Not at all what she expected. A couple goes house hunting and finds the house of their dreams, but someone comes in with a higher offer, or they can't obtain the necessary financing. Great disappointment follows - until they find another house that fits both their "want" list and their budget.

And the couple living next door becomes their best friends for many years. Again, not at all what they expected.

This is why one of my favorite Bible verses in Proverbs 16:9, which declares, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Another verse says, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails" (Proverbs 19:21).

So many times over my life I've seen - often only with the 20:20 vision of hindsight - how God would interrupt and overrule my plans so He could reveal a own plan and purpose I couldn't have envisioned. This has been especially true over the course of my career.

As I was finishing up my journalism degree in college, I was anticipating getting a job with a daily newspaper. (That was in the pre-Internet days when newspapers were still a big deal.) Instead, the opportunity that presented itself was to become editor of a small, weekly community newspaper. Not the position I'd hoped for, but it turned out to be far better than I could have imagined. 

It required me to serve not only as editor, but also local government and school board reporter, features writer, photographer, sports writer, columnist and editorial writer. I even did police reports, wedding announcements and obits. The depth and breadth of experience I gained during more than six years at that newspaper laid the foundation for 40 subsequent years of writing and editing. Not only that, but in that suburban Columbus, Ohio town I met the woman who has been my wife for nearly 44 years!

I did interrupt my tenure at that little newspaper to work for several months at a daily newspaper in suburban Philadelphia. However, as it turned out, God took me there only for much-needed, intense training before I returned to community newspapers. Overall, my 10 years on those papers paved the way for becoming a magazine writer and editor, as well as many other writing opportunities.

As the verse above states, I had planned my course, but the Lord determined my steps - and they often didn't go at all as I had expected. As a result, long ago I adopted a similar passage, Proverbs 3:5-6, as my "life verse": "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

This truth can manifest itself in every area of life, if only we're willing to recognize it. A young woman dreams of becoming a mom, but for years she and her husband are unsuccessful at becoming pregnant. Instead, they elect to adopt two little boys, years apart, and now they can't imagine their lives without either one. Because of her infertility, God blesses them with two beautiful sons - and two unwanted babies find a wonderful, loving home.

You can probably think of similar examples from your own life, times when circumstances took you down paths you never anticipated, but in retrospect realized that although things didn't go as planned, it turned out they went much better than you could have hoped. 

As Jeremiah 10:23 tells us, "I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps." Comparing what I had in mind with what God actually did, most of the time I've been very glad that's true. 

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Metro Tab Church Hosts Dessert With Bessie

The Neshawn Calloway invites the public to have Dessert with Bessie as they celebrate the Empress of the Blues on  Saturday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m.  The evening will include coffee, dessert, and dancing. You will enjoy some of Bessie Smith’s classics and the second half of the show will feature some of your favorite smooth jazz and old school R&B hits.   The ... (click for more)

Vickie Yohe Sings At Metro Church Sunday

The public is invited to a praise and worship experience featuring gospel legend Vickie Yohe at Metro Tab Church on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Metro Tab Church is a multicultural and non-denominational ministry. It is at 2101 West Shepherd Road.  For more information visit www.metrotab.net or call 894-3377. (click for more)

Authorities Say Hixson Man Shot And Killed His 15-Year-Old Son On Saturday Night; Also Killed Family Dog

Authorities said a Hixson man shot and killed his 15-year-old son on Saturday night. A report says Mike McElrath, 46, who was found naked at a neighbor's house, also killed the family dog. McElrath was a former Hamilton County corrections officer from 1996-1999. County deputies responded at 10:24 p.m. to 1846 Cotter Road. The residents said there was a man on their front ... (click for more)

Gary Douglas, 25, Shot Early Sunday Morning; Dewayne Stanley, 24, Is Arrested

Gary Douglas, 25, was shot early Sunday morning, and Dewayne Stanley, 24, was arrested.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at approximately  3 a.m.   to a person shot on the 4700 block of Murray Lake Lane. Upon arrival, officers were able to locate Douglas, who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Investigators ... (click for more)

Use Purse Building For Chattanooga Museum Of History And Industry

I was caught off-guard and pleasantly stoked by Eric Atkins' editorial on Chattanoogan.com last week suggesting that one of the soon-to-be surplused city buildings could be turned into a history museum.   I didn't think anyone other than myself that I didn't know cared, or at least would turn their thoughts into the topic of an editorial.  I believe that most of the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: One Person Every Hour

After the first weekend in August, the United States was shaken to its core as every major media outlet reported that 67 people had been shot in Chicago, 12 of them dead in the senseless carnage. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel pleaded for calm and announced an additional 600 police officers would join other law enforcement in the five most troubled districts. This past weekend, which ... (click for more)