“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans.”

Kent Stolt
May 23, 2019 · 3 min read

I’ve always been a fan and collector of insightful quotes, and this one by Allan Konigsberg — better known to the world as Woody Allen — is my favorite. It’s a spin-off of an old Yiddish proverb: ‘We plan, God laughs.’ And what better persona than the helpless, schlumpy Allen to deliver the message to one and all that we are not in control of our lives as much as we would like to think we are. There’s something so humbling about the attitude there that works for me. Here’s why:

Few things turn me off more than arrogance and self-taught superiority. This quote aims to pretty much knock anyone of that ilk on their ass. When it comes down to it, we all need to be stay humble because when it comes to the scales of life you never know when you might be on top or on the bottom.

With a wry smirk, this quote funnels all the crazy quirks and twists of fate into one humanizing vision, with a touch of self-effacing humor thrown in for good measure. Life is always going to be full of surprises and compromises. Everyone knows that. Sometimes we’re just too scared to face the future. These words help me better understand and prepare for the inevitable.

I’m the last one to push my spiritual beliefs on anyone. You believe what you want to believe. I’ll do the same. But I need to know there is a true and ultimate force in control of my life, especially during those times when things aren’t going so well for me.

· For better or worse, when it comes to making God laugh, I’m afraid I’ve never been much of a comedian. In fact, as far back as I can remember I’ve struggled mightily when it comes to making plans and coming up with ideas for my future. Too afraid to take chances maybe. All the more reason this quote puts things in a better perspective and eases my guilt every time I read it.

Too often while growing up we are told by parents and pundits that we are in control of our destiny. That we alone are masters of our own universe. That is, only if we have the guts to see into the future and grab what is ours for the taking.

What this quote does is level the playing field by reminding us that no matter how strong — or weak — we think we are, no matter what we think we can or cannot do in this life, there is still a Higher Power, one watching over everything. Almost as if, upon hearing our well-laid-out plans, God smiles like the wise old parent and chuckles ever so quietly, “Uh, we’ll see about that.”

Something worth thinking about.


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Kent Stolt

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Wisconsin-based writer, storyteller and history buff. Keep it simple. Make it real.


Discover tomorrow’s bestsellers today.

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