No one plans to fail, they fail to plan! Could this saying be part of the fuel that’s behind the planning craze? Everywhere you look these days, there’s a new planner popping up. You can find pretty chick planners, simple no frills guy planners and even clean slate planners for the creative soul. There’s meal planning, business planning, everyday planning, housework planning, time planning, wardrobe planning, life planning . . . and the list goes on . . . and on . . . and . . .you get the picture.
I get exhausted just thinking about all that planning. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely knocking planning and I do my fair share of it. But honestly, the big push out there seems to be to plan our lives down to the teeniest detail and it feels a little like control freak-ness gone wild. (Yes, that’s freak and wild in the same sentence, never a good thing.)
We have a need to create order in every nook and cranny of our homes and our lives and it can consume us. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that when I put the considerable time it takes into planning all that I want to accomplish, tasks to complete, goals to achieve, projects to tackle and routines to maintain, inevitably the unforeseen, unexpected, un-PLANNED always happens and all my planning goes out the window. I’m left with a feeling of failure and UNaccomplishment. (I think I just made up a new word.) I look at my UNchecked-off list of to-dos and deflate. The pressure I put on myself to do it all and do it well including planning is intense. Maybe planning isn’t for me? Maybe planning isn’t for anyone?
(What are you talking about Cynthia?)
I’m glad you asked.
Okay, here goes. What if we were all trees?
(Now you’re just talking crazy.)
Bear with me for a few more moments. I was reading the book of Jeremiah and in chapter 17 verses 7-8 it says this –
“Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
You know what happens when I read this? A huge load is lifted off of my chest, my heart, my mind and my soul. It gives me hope that even if I don’t achieve “the ultimate goal of a perfectly planned life, ready for any unexpected guest to drop by and stay for a week and look in every closet, cabinet and drawer only to find the dust free serenity of complete organization”, that I can still thrive like a tree. I don’t have to fear when the heat comes because my roots are by the stream. Later in this same chapter of Jeremiah verse 13b says,
“Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord,the spring of living water.”
I will have no worries when there’s drought all around me because my source is the “Living Water”.
Being productive won’t need to be a strain or pressure I put on myself because I will always bear the fruit I am meant to IF I trust in the Lord and place my confidence in him. NOT because I’m so good at planning.
Here’s one of the most quoted scriptures about plans. Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Some lesser known, but equally valuable verses –
“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Psalm 33:11
“The Lord knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile.” Psalm 94:11
“To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:1-3
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
When we look at the big picture, at all of scripture for balance on this subject, it becomes clear that there really is a place and time for planning in our lives. It’s when we forget that it’s the Lord’s purpose that prevails that we truly fall short. Of course we will need to plan many things be it birthday parties, weddings, budgets, weekly meals or work from home business. It’s part of our reality. There’s no getting around it. Just go to the source of all wisdom and never forget this.
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
“But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.” Isaiah 32:8
Are you planning to succeed?
Great! God wants you to succeed and I do too! So, put your trust and confidence in the Lord and you will. Here’s a new “Scripture Picture” for you to download and print or just click on the image. Go here for all my “Scripture Pictures”.
“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.” Psalm 20:4