, Corbin, KY

July 1, 2013

You make the plans, God shows you the steps

The Times-Tribune


If you have ever tried, you’ll know that one of the most difficult tasks to pull off is throwing a surprise party.

Back in 2008, my mother tried to throw a surprise 50th birthday party for my stepfather, Tim.

She really wanted to go all out as she started planning and preparing for it about six months before his big day on Dec. 17.

She bought a small camcorder to put together a video presentation for the party. Without Tim finding out, she bounced around and filmed all of his immediate family members and friends delivering their own personal birthday wishes. She even got their church praise team to sing Happy Birthday to Tim for the video.

Once she had recorded everything, she sent her tape to be edited by my film-producing stepsister, Ashley, out in Los Angeles.

Then the big day came and Tim still did not have a clue.

He was at work that day while my mom, some neighbors and family members decorated their house. After Tim got off work, he did some Christmas shopping which gave my mother even more time to decorate.

When they were all finished, you would have thought my mom was putting on a five-star gala for the president or something.

The house looked great, the video was really nice, and many, many friends and family members started piling in for the big surprise.

Then, around dusk, we heard Tim parking his car and saw him making his way towards the front door. He walked into the living room and received a big “SURPRISE!” from everyone in attendance.

Tim was very happy to see everyone who came out for his special day. But revealed he had found out about the surprise just a few minutes prior to pulling into the driveway.

For six months, my mother was able to keep the party a complete surprise. For most of that day, she was able to keep the party a complete surprise.

However, as Tim was driving on his own street making his way home, one of the neighbors called his cell phone and told him he was sorry for not being able to make it to his birthday party.

The neighbor had apparently forgotten it was a surprise party and spoiled it just a couple minutes before it took place.

Even though the surprise birthday party didn’t kick off exactly how my mother had planned, Tim still really appreciated all the effort she had made. He was very thankful for everyone who came out to join in on the festivities, and really enjoyed the video.

And I think everyone who came out really had a great time the rest of the night, as well.

In our lives, we will have many, many goals to accomplish.

Some could be for fun — like throwing a surprise party. Some could be life-changing — like starting a family, or a new job.

And to accomplish these goals, we will have our own plans for when, where and how everything gets done.

Often times, God may have his own plans for the way we are to accomplish our goals. He may even have totally different goals for us altogether.

But Proverbs 16:9 reminds us, “A man’s heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps.”

Just like the way Tim’s party was a success even though my mom’s surprise got spoiled, we can accomplish our goals in life even if the steps we take are different than what we might originally think.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

The important thing is we ask for God’s guidance through prayer and spend time reading His word.

God will take care of our needs in life. We just have to be ready and willing to follow his steps.

Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at