I don’t know about you but I love planning. I may love it more than “getting there” actually.
Perhaps it’s my imaginative side but at least for me there is a pleasure in thinking, praying and planning to go here or there, do this or that to the extent the finished outcome can almost seem a let-down, a sort of landing that isn’t as exciting or stimulating as the imaginative projection in mind as I had dreamed it up.
As a songwriter and recording artist I also admit there is usually (not always!) a joy in hearing changes in the finished product I had not previously imagined in my mind. Also, tweaking the original ideas can be quite enjoyable yet I rarely end up with what I’d call an exact representation of my original concept -and I’ve gotten used to that as a norm in much of life! Some rarely do and that’s a tragedy. I’m convinced to at least some degree our clinging to our own plans can be as much a continual chaos and misery as they may well be a gift of grace. Why? Read on please.
To be sure- there is a sense of fulfillment from accomplishment and a real and true joy of success when I finish a project.
God’s Word speaks a lot about planning. “Take no thought for tomorrow” is dealing with fretting, worrying about future matters. Proverbs 16.9 is classic on planning: “The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.”
And a very negative phrase appears about those who don’t involve the Lord in life decisions including their plans: Psalm 10.3 For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart, those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord. 4. In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, “God will not seek it out”; all their thoughts are, “There is no God.”
Proverbs 19.21 gets right at the issue- “The human mind may devise many plans, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established.”
God’s sovereign will WILL be accomplished regardless, yet He has given humans incredible leeway to make choices, plans and to act them out on this earth whether in accord with His desires or not.
Lastly, one of my all-time faves which was one of the scriptures that brought me to really trust and follow Jesus: “11. For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart…” -From Jeremiah chapter 29 spoken to Israel but I am convinced a word for anyone who seeks and desires to please the Lord.
Now all this doesn’t tell us our way is best! In fact it’s often core to the worst that can happen to us and those we affect by our decisions and plans. Seeking God and willingly surrendering our plans to Him adding: “IF it’s Your will Lord!” is a solid, sane, wise approach to prayer. Further, some of the apparent calamities that come our way can seem anything but the will of God for us yet we do not know all He does and is doing to protect us. Sometimes He’s literally keeping us safe from ourselves and what He deems foolish, disastrous results of our own not-His-plan planning and actions.
Things to consider along the path?
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn