Yesterday we reserved tickets with our travel agent! Our travel dates are now "certain"; Paula and I expect to leave Denver for Liberia on July 6, returning 5 weeks later on August 11! But check out the footnote below...
*.Allow me to add a footnote to the concept of "definite"...
let's just say, our plans (to go to Liberia this summer) are only as "certain" as any of us can make plans to do anything!
I remember when I was very young in Africa, when certain older missionaries would talk about their plans (very definite plans, as far as I could tell), they would often add: "D.V." At the time I wondered: Why the "D.V."? What does that mean? Later I found out. (No, it didn't stand for "Digital Video..." before the "...Disc" was added!) "D.V." is an abbreviation for an old Latin expression, "Deo volente", which means: "God being willing". Well, that's simple enough! But then I would ask myself: Why didn't they just say it in English? Does Latin make it more "spiritual"? And why use the abbreviation? Perhaps they're not sure of the Latin pronunciation or spelling!
But seriously, the old-timers had good reason to add the "Deo volente" condition to the plans they were making. First, they recognized that they weren't in control. Who is? More importantly, they had a few good Bible verses to back them up! Like James 4:14-15: "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow... Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'" Or what about Proverbs 19:21: "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."
As far as those old missionaries knew, their bold plans were also good plans and they were honestly trying to do the right thing for the kingdom of God. But just in case... just in case circumstances would later indicate that "the Lord had other plans" (another expression they would often use), meaning that they would have to modify or give up their own, they were always careful to add those two simple letters: "D.V."