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All I Wanted Was Six Shirts!

"We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer" Proverbs 16:1 (NLT).

I worked for a major health organization in North Carolina many years ago. My team was hosting a company-wide  event. I saw an employee from another department with a shirt with the company logo. I thought it would be wonderful if my team could have matching shirts for our upcoming event. I contacted the other department’s administrator to find out where they had ordered their shirts. She gave me the name of the company and even sent a catalog. I suggested to my supervisor that we should get collared shirts for our team of six. She responded that she would need to talk with our division director at the next manager’s meeting. I understood. I put the request out of my mind.

A few days later, she returned from the manager’s meeting. I was excited to hear the answer from her boss. But when she announced I needed to present my idea to the Operations Team, I was stunned and outraged. I’d a simple request for six shirts. Six shirts! How does that constitute a meeting with the senior management team? She calmly explained that several other managers wanted to discuss the types of shirts. What I thought was a simple request had become a committee decision.

The day arrived. I presented my request and my reasoning. I brought the catalog and passed it around to the managers. One manager didn’t like the type of shirt and didn’t think the division should dictate what shirt employees wore. While they continued to discuss the request, I pointed out other options for the team. Eventually, the Vice President dismissed me from the meeting with no indication of whether my request would be fulfilled.

Fury consumed me as I left the meeting. I repeated to myself, “All I wanted was six shirts!” How could six shirts cause such an uproar? My anger had burned down when my supervisor, my mentor, returned from the meeting. Now, I was curious. What was the verdict? She told me that I had done well in presenting my case. Verdict: We got our six shirts! Mission Accomplished! But God did more than I ever wanted. The whole division received the shirts! While I planned to get six shirts for my team for a specific event, God planned to bring me before the leadership team to showcase my idea!


Dear Jesus, please open our eyes to see Your more excellent plan when our plan falls short. Open our hearts to be obedient, follow your plan, and rejoice in the lessons learned. Amen!

Your turn: What plan do you have that seems small? What project has gone awry? Is God showing you a different method? God’s plan always gives the correct answer.

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