“But God said to him, Fool!  This night your soul will be required of you.”  Luke 12:20

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not fear therefore….. Luke 12:7

” Now I don’t want you to be aware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now)..Romans 1:13

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.”  Matthew 7:34

The paradox of planning; especially for a Christian.  I am both an Air Force veteran as well as a veteran of management and training in large corporations, and in all those experiences, the mantra “failure to plan, is a plan for failure”, was a guiding principle.  And lest one think this is a diatribe against, planning, that is not the case.  Plans are useful and I truly believe God has a plan.  Well actually I believe, God has the plan.

So what is planning?  Is planning not the collection of thoughts and actions of today that are meant to bring about a positive outcome when the future becomes the present?  Does not a plan have a certain presupposition that, if successful, my do happens of today will bring about the should happens of tomorrow?  And thus, if we stop to consider those presuppositions, that is where the potential for eternal conflict lies.  First, is the realization that at some very basic level, these are my plans and my actions.  Those plans and actions are based on my perceptions and calculations on what actions will lead to what outcomes.  And if we think on this as a mathematical equation; my plans x my actions = my results.  Even if they turn out perfectly for me; truth in fact, they may have little if nothing to do with God’s plan.  Second, the process of planning has the underlying proposition that we can impact or control the future.  I have no argument that we have a capability to impact the future.  I get much more concerned with the thoughts of being able to control our future to any great extent.

And now the conflict rears it ugly head; at least for me.  I have my plan, something I really want to happen.  A future present, I want to achieve.  So I think mightily about what I need to do and I actually start doing it.  To add in some extra help, I even pray about it.  Maybe I even started off with a prayer.  A prayer for success of MY plan.  I look at it from every angle.  I put notes to myself about it.  It’s the first thing I think about in the morning and it’s the last thing on my mind as I go to sleep.  I even hope I dream about it.  And Oh, Oh sweet it will be when MY plan comes to fruition.  Kind of sounds like worship doesn’t it?  Kind of sounds like I hope my will, will be done?

And here’s the other aspect; the outcome.  If my plan comes about the way I had wanted; Yea ME!  Look how smart I am, look at my wisdom, my courage, my perseverance.  God it is so great that You showed the wisdom to agree with me in letting this happen!  If my plan does not come about as I wished.  God what is wrong with You?!  I prayed, I worked, I thought, I researched, How dare You come up with something different!

The word is called alignment.  There is a phrase, that I did not originate that is oft used:  “If you want to make God laugh, tell him Your plans.”  I think tears get shed as well.  Impact the future, control the future?  So should we plan.  I say yes, at least I do.  But the most that I can hope for, that I think we can hope, pray and strive for is that our plans are in alignment with God’s.  Think about your car’s alignment.  When your tires are aligned the car travels smoothly and straightly, with minimum effort to it’s desired destination.  If your tires are out of alignment, then the car wants to weave all over the place, and it can take effort, sometimes great effort to get it to where you want to go.  Finally I must forever understand, my plan will never be as complete, as thorough, as perfect as His plan.  When I neglect His plan and substitute my own instead, I might as well be bowing down to a golden calf.

Why should I trust God’s plan for my future?  For the simple reason that He has already been there.  He has already seen it and He is in control of it.  And, most importantly of all, that plan was conceived and will be carried out to its conclusion, in total Love.  That is a plan worth following.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we acknowledge the great paradox of our knowledge of the future and our desire to shape it.  We confess, that as we attempt to implement our imperfect plans, we neglect the plans You have put in place for us.  We also repent in the sin of claiming personal glory for our successful plans, instead of giving You the glory for Your blessings of our success.  Dear Lord, please remove the temptation for me to idolize and worship my plan.  Give me the wisdom to align, as best I can, my plan with Yours.  Give me the patience to understand when my plan does not come out as I had expected; that does not diminish Your plan for me.  Thank You Dear Father, for your Love, Mercy and Patience with us.  Thank you, Most Gracious Father, for including our salvation in Your plan, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  That in all things Your plan may be our highest goal and praise we pray.  In the Name of Jesus Christ.  Amen

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