Make the plan, execute the plan, expect the plan to go off the rails, Throw away the plan. 6-27-17
So I realize the title is a little longer then usual today but stay with me. As I recently figured out my new path in life I set the plan, I was getting ready to execute the plan, and before I got to execute it went off the rails and then I had to reevaluate and draw up new plans. This is often how life goes; especially when we try to plan to far in advance. It’s one thing to have goals, it’s another to try to make your own plans and expect God won’t put you on a better path.
We often get lost on the paths that present themselves. We search and search and we never actually get anywhere. Finding the forward momentum when plans keep changing is difficult. Are you the type of person to flake out on plans last minute, or are you the type of person that when plans change you go into freak out mode? We can’t expect life to go the way we think it will. Our minds are far too small to think of every contingency and expect that the odds will always be in our favor. Let me give you a small example.
Recently I knew someone who was going through a rough divorce. There was pain on both sides and despite trying to put things back together it just fell apart more. She was angry with a lot of things, and he was upset at being abandoned by her. Months had gone by and they hadn’t spoken. He was getting ready to move forward with his life and leave town. She was someplace and although he prayed for her every day he figured she was gone forever. Just a few weeks away from his leaving town, she called him with a bombshell of news. News that frankly he reported floored him, not by surprise, but in sorrow for her. He took the time to pray for her, ministered to her, gave her options and bid his farewells while she contemplated his 3 offers.
To this day the situation hasn’t been resolved but he knows that he may have to radically change his plans depending on how this may go for him. The best thing he can do is pray for her, pray for him, and pray that God’s work continues. He prays that she will find peace no matter what decision she makes. He loves her deeply and wants her to be happy. But, he needs to be happy also. Prayers my friend, prayers.
You can see how fast something can change. You never know when someone from your past will show up unannounced, or that car accident, or great uncle Timmy passed and left a million dollars…. Don’t we all wish. There’s something to be said for Chaos theory. Infinite possibilities in an infinite world that looks like pure chaos with an underlying pattern that we don’t usually see. The key is that the plan is there we just can’t see it. God’s much the same. It’s okay to have our goals, our desires, and as long as they match up with God’s plan for us we will generally find a great surplus of blessings.
Luke 14:28-33 “28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” If we are to have a plan our plan must be well thought out, planned through, and in lined with Gods will. Praying about our plans, asking God for signs to point to the right plans, and expecting that along the way even the best laid plans will likely have surprises along the way. Proverbs 14:8 “The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving” We mustn’t be hasty, we must diligently plan and pray for each part of the plan. Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” We can only know and plan for so much from what we can see in our tiny little section of the world. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
We won’t always know which way to go but it’s important for us to realize when we don’t. When we finally realize how important that relationship with God is, that relationship with good Godly brothers and sisters, and we know how to and when to ask for Godly counsel, that’s when we will finally see a change. When we listen and obey God we will be blessed for it. Even when we go through hardships and trials, and traumas, how we choose to handle each of those situations will also lead us to be judged by Abba. Our father loves us and will let us fall on our faces if we are stubborn. God will let you continue to fall on your face. He’ll let you stick your finger in the light socket, but when it goes badly God’s not above saying I told you so. God will always be there and when you’re ready to stop doing it your way and find a new way God will still be there. Just remember, when we don’t listen to God, eventually God will yell to get our attention, and we usually won’t like the outcome. We have to understand that sometimes God will not allow our plan to continue because of some reason and we don’t need to understand why, we just need to accept it and instead of throwing a temper tantrum, we just need to move on.
Think about it this way. You’re getting ready for work, and you head out to your car and overnight a tree has fallen in the driveway and you can’t get out. You miss a huge meeting at work, and maybe even a promotion. You go inside to make a call to get someone to come remove the tree. An hour goes by and you turn on the news. There’s a 25-car pileup due to fog, and 10 people are seriously hurt, 4 have died. The location is the same highway you travel, at the same time you’d be traveling through that section. Was the tree preventing you from a meeting, or was it preventing you from getting hurt or worse? There’s truly no way of knowing how each setback is for our benefit, but if we consider this example we might be a little less likely to rush to frustration when the ‘plan’ flies off the rails. There’s nothing wrong with making Godly plans, there’s nothing wrong with working towards a goal of something we desire, so long as it aligns with following God. Just remember if God so deems one of these will happen to you. “Make the plan, execute the plan, expect the plan to go off the rails, Throw away the plan.” Lenard Snart