There's a Yiddish (Eastern European Jewish Language) expression that goes like this, "Men Tracht, Got Lacht", which translates to, "Men Plan, G-d Laughts", and means that people make plans, but G-d is running the world and often changes events [or at least it seems that way to us], thereby invalidating plans.
A Lesson In a Family
I read a great story on Shabbat about a husband and wife that were having serious marital troubles. They had been married for over 10 years, yet never quite appreciated each others efforts, and finally things had reached the stage of great resentment and anger. So the husband agreed to move out, he packed his bags and prepared to leave. The morning came, and he literally couldn't get up from bed. A trip to the hospital and tests found he had contracted hepatitis. He had weeks of treatment, and spent over 6 weeks recuperating at home, with his wife caring for him in his completely disabled state. She also had to take care of household finances, bills, and deal with all the money issues (his normal area of household control). Finally, he recovered and again prepared to leave. He went to his wife, and found her in the same state (unable to get out of bed). Same trip, same diagnosis (while the family was innoculated after his diagnosis, she must have contracted it from him before, or maybe from the same original source). Same result, weeks of treatments and home recovery for many weeks. This time, the husband cared for his wife, and along the way also had to do the housework, take care of the kids, cook, school meetings, everything in her normal area of family control.
Well, as you can imagine, not only did they receive close care from each other for this long period of time, but they also came to appreciate the other's efforts within the family. When their lawyers contacted them after they both recovered to continue the divorce, they were no longer the same couple that had started the proceedings.
Lessons In The World
The U.S. election result was wonderful for what it was not. It was not chaos. It was not an indecision. It was not unclear. The outcome, while taking a little time, was clear.
Though, the evening of the conclusion of voting, all 'exit polls' stated that Senator Kerry had won. Reports showed President Bush upset, and Mr. Kerry very pleased. Yet, that was not the ultimate result. The carefully calculated and controlled polls were...wrong.
In Israel, Prime Minister Sharon has a plan and seems very certain of what he is doing relative to Gaza. Yet, suddenly Arafat is dying and the other side of the equation is changing. And, simultaneously, his own government has become very unstable beneath his feet. Succeed or fail (and it's my fervent desire and prayer that he fail), events are certainly not following his plans.
"Men Tracht, Got Lacht"
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא