The onset of the Christmas season in earnest has reminded me of a few recent miscalculation by pretty smart people; and God’s ultimate plan for all mankind.
Actress Cote de Pablo, better known as Ziva David on the hit show NCIS, estimated that since she had worked on the hit show for 8 years, and since she worked closely with co-star Michael Weatherly (Anthony DiNozzo), that she should be paid a comparable amount of money as Weatherly, who had been with the show from the beginning, before it was a popular program. That plan did not work, and although de Pablo was offered a lot of money, according the network president (see his thoughts here – http://tinyurl.com/lnz6zlt), she ended up making a surprisingly unplanned decision to leave the show (see her thoughts here – http://tinyurl.com/le8phdz). So far, except for a few follow up interviews, de Pablo has fallen off the map. It may still be too early to tell whether her educated decision was a good one for her.
Another recent educated miscalculation may be Lady Gaga’s new album. The musician’s work has built itself off of her penchant for eccentric self-marketing hype. She has received some acclaim and success in previous releases, but her recent album release “ARTPOP” seems to have laid an egg. One reviewer wept over the lyrics – not because they were poignant, but because the lyrics made her laugh so hard (see the commentary here – http://archive.is/qKijg). Another review in a major trade newspaper emphasized the strangeness of the album (see the review here – http://tinyurl.com/q2u5dnh).
As I write this another possible miscalculation of epic proportions is brewing. A popular reality TV star, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, has found himself being suspended by his host network, A&E, for comments deemed detrimental towards homosexuals. Many cultural observers are suggesting that the network may have overreacted, and may find itself losing the entire show and it large, record-setting audience. Boycotts and petitions are increasing, as well as great pressure on the network and its supporters for what one columnist deemed a ”terminally stupid miscalculation” (see that article here – http://inagist.com/all/413498878629912576/).
My thought of miscalculations, especially at this time of year, center around the decisions by pretty smart but insecure people in their response to the birth and life of our Savior Jesus. Herod the King miscalculated his ability to control the Magi from the East by telling them to return to him and betray the whereabouts of the Baby King (Matthew Chapter 2). Caiaphas and Annas the high priests thought that their efforts to control the spread of the teachings of Jesus would end with His death (John Chapter 18); and later the arrests of the Apostles. Saul (later Paul) thought he also could stamp out the spread of the teachings of this movement by putting to death people who belonged to the Way (Acts Chapter 9).
Fortunately for humanity God has a Master plan with His own educated calculation through which He allows for us to participate in events that advance His purposes (Ephesians 2:10). And it was even a part of God’s plan for Christ to die for us (Isaiah 53:10). But God’s Master plan was never more evident than at the birth of His Son. His entry into the history of mankind was at just the right time (Galatians 4:4). He also promises to be with us and to order the steps of His righteous ones (Ps. 5:8; Ps. 37:23; Matthew 28:20). All of this begins with His amazing arrival. This is the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan for all mankind (Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11).
The writer of Proverbs wrote that, “Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word” (Proverbs 16:1 MSG). How fortunate for us that in God’s educated planning He has included a process for our redemption. As a part of His planning, we get to enjoy this most wonderful time of the year. We may miscalculate our plan for how we want to live, but God makes us able to live this redemptive life because of Jesus (Proverbs 16:9). Merry Christmas!