Are you a planner? Do you schedule your life down to the last minute? Sometimes that’s exactly what we need to do when we have a busy life. I still keep a calendar, so I’ll know where I’m supposed to be when, who I’m supposed to talk to, what activity I need to get done (like today is dog nail clipping day). If I don’t schedule something, it might not happen. Life, busy work, and trivial things all have a way of oozing into the nooks and crannies of time and pretty soon the day is over.
There are several proverbs in today’s reading that seem a bit connected. Being that “quality time” is my love language, these really spoke to me. Verse 1, “We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.” Verse 3, “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” Verse 9, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” What do we see here? Planning is a good thing, but God needs to be part of our process.
Have you ever spent an exhaustive amount of time planning something only to be disappointed when it didn’t turn out like you planned? Perhaps there are other times that you planned and the results were beyond your wildest imagination? I have had those experiences, and I always chalk up the success to having God in the mix. Verse 3 would suggest that if we commit our actions to the Lord, we’ll see success. Was that a light bulb moment for you?
We can make plans all day long, but it is God who gives our plans wings. He determines our steps. He can make or break our plans, feeble or not. How much better when we can ask God first to help us in our planning. When God approves, our plans can’t fail. It seems to me when we can glorify God in our plans, that will be pleasing to God. The steps he will determine for us will be toward success.
Solomon is clear here; we can make our own plans. God gave us each a brain so we can think and act. It’s not like God is the only one who is in control of what we do. But our success is in his hands. He wants us to succeed. He wants us to be happy. But he alone knows what’s best for us. We may think we do, but God’s wisdom is so much greater.
When you have a planning session, who do you consult? Do have trusted advisors, spouse, family members, friends, etc. that you check in with or collaborate with? Maybe it’s even more simple. Your alarm clock goes off and before you get out of bed you start planning your day. What sort of things motivate you to plan? Having fun? Helping others? Getting a job done? Honoring God? Zing!
Take some time today to think through some big plans you have coming up. For me, we have a wedding in the family this Spring. I’m not the bride, so most of the planning is being handled by someone else. For our business, we have a lot of plans underway for how we can increase revenue this year. We have invited God into our planning. We want him to lead the way. We have committed our plans to God and expect He will lead us to success.
Let’s pray … Lord, I look to you for your wisdom in all my plans. Even the day-to-day, simple, routine plans. I ask your blessing on each conversation I have. Walk beside me each step of the way. I look forward to seeing how you are going to determine my steps. Forgive me when I try to do the planning on my own and not take you into account. You are my everything. May I be mindful of your presence. In Jesus’ name. Amen.