“What’s your plan?”
Perhaps my least favorite question in the world.
I’m a go-with-the-flow kind of guy, so the idea of sitting down to plan makes me cringe. It is contrary to my very nature. But there’s also another element of plan making that I dislike: the fact that life has a peculiar habit of blowing up plans in your face.
Like that time I planned a trip to Maine – the lobster capital of our great country – only to have the first shellfish allergic reaction of my life the week prior. Or that time I planned to bring the family to Chik-fil-A after church on Sunday (recurring problem). Or that time that I planned to fix the leak below our bathroom sink without turning off the water supply to the house (okay, that was just poor planning).
Now I’m not saying that making plans is a bad thing – far from it. The world’s greatest accomplishments didn’t come about by random happenstance. They were achieved through a clear vision and a detailed plan. Scripture itself instructs us to:
1. Make plans and work hard
“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5 NLT)
2. Seek wise counsel
“Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” (Proverbs 15:22 NLT)
3. Align our plans with God’s will
“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3 NLT)
The problem is, we don’t always have a clear perception of God’s plans for us. It could be that we don’t spend the time sitting down to listen, that we’re more interested in chasing our own selfish plans, or simply because God has planned something unexpected to shake things up and bring us to a greater level of maturation and faith.
As a result, we may find ourselves deep down a rabbit trail, only to have our plans suddenly and dramatically trumped.
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” (Proverbs 19:21 NLT)
But wait! There is encouragement in this. Despite any flailing about, as a Christian surrendered to Christ, we can rest assured that God is pushing us in the right direction. We may find ourselves ping-ponging off the bumper rails, but He keeps us headed towards the pins (bowling metaphorical credit to my friend Kyle):
And you know what? I’m grateful for those bumper rails of grace. Because left to my own devices, my plans would be as shallow as: make money, retire early, goof off.
Contrast that to the richness of God’s beautiful, selfless plan of redemption:
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT)
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. (Romans 10:9-10 NLT)
From an eternal perspective, my plans amount to nothing.
In God’s merciful plan, I, a sinner, can be washed clean with Jesus’s blood and be adopted into his forever reigning kingdom.
One of us is a better planner than the other.
Anyway, all that side, I will say God has placed my family in a season requiring less plan making, and more day-to-day surrender in the realms of trust, flexibility, and willingness (see: “Got Abarahamed?”).
You know, this kind of thing:
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:31-34 NLT)
We’ve got a ways to go in that department, but we at least were able to incorporate the concept into our recent epic road trip, that I’ll have to share about in a different post.
As a side note and a writing update, I’ve gotten a couple of positive responses form publishers that liked my novel proposal and have requested the full manuscript. I’ve also got another post available for you to check out on GodInterest if you haven’t seen it yet: 3 Prominent Figures of the Old Testament that Would Dominate in Sports
Thanks for reading!
Nicolas C. Day