A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps. Prov. 16:9
It has arrived. That span of 7 days on the calendar each year where Mother’s Day, my birthday, and our anniversary are all celebrated. It’s a lollapalooza of sorts, or what I like to call, “Cynthia Week.”
It sounds awesomtastic, I know. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy a whole week of adulation? Flowers, iPads (see A Resolutionary Idea), Facebook well wishers, greeting cards, fine dining, dates…go ahead, spoil me.
On the other hand, what was I thinking? True, I had no control over the dates of the first two celebratory events. But dropping a wedding in the same week was a risk that will last me a lifetime. What if Shoebox comes up with one card that covers all 3 events? I imagine a picture of Willy Wonka on the front with a caption that reads: “Oh, it’s Mother’s Day, your birthday, and your anniversary this week? You must be the greatest planner in the world.” What for others is three separate celebrations could, for me, at any time, become one trip to Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and a Condescending Wonka meme.
Oh well, it is what it is. The truth is, Willy Wonka has a bit of a point. I’m an idea person. Sometimes it’s like I’m in a big important brainstorming session, only I’m the only person there. And that’s fine by me, because I get fooled into thinking I don’t even need anyone else in that think tank. So many ideas and plans are coursing through my mind that I have to get out of bed 9 times to make notes before I can fall asleep (see photo, as a for instance). Or maybe that’s a result of the Coke Zero I drank at 10:30 pm. Either way, I’m making more plans than Daytimer.
As you might imagine, Clay especially loves that character trait in me.
I have to put it in reverse sometimes. Actually, lots of times. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that it was a bad idea to get married on May 19, 1990. God was in that (a topic I’ll likely revisit in the Friday post). But there are plenty of other times I do race ahead of Him. Take, for example, the 3 new book ideas I’ve had this week. Since I’ve yet to complete my first, those plans are probably not something I should be spending a lot of time on in the think tank.
Even when it’s a good plan, something I should invest a lot of time in, I need to remember that, ultimately, the outcome is not up to me. And when I land on the occasional brilliant plan, the brilliance definitely didn’t originate with me.
I think there’s a good chance you can relate. Obviously, some people can, otherwise, there would be no Condescending Wonka gone viral. Who comes up with this stuff? I bet you a dollar the Wonka idea came late at night. But even if you’re not an idea person, per say, I bet you’re still making some plans in your heart…a trip you want to take, a job you plan to quit, a job you want to have, an investment you hope will set you up for retirement, a degree you want to pursue, a town you want to leave, a town you don’t want to leave, a person you hope to date.
It’s not bad to make plans, but Prov. 16:9 is saying that we should remember who’s in charge when we do. Pssst…it’s not me or you. We forget that sometimes. We push forward without considering God’s will, His purpose and our part in that purpose. Lots of times, we don’t pray except to thank Him for the food and to ask Him to help Aunt Sally who’s sick again. Those are things we’ll let God handle, but the plans we’re making? Nope, those are ours. We think we know what’s best, so we push ahead and just hope that God catches up with us somewhere along the way. We make the plans, and we expect Him to bless them. In effect, we’re saying, “Hey, God, try to keep up.” When we do that, the chances of our plans having any eternal value are somewhere between zero and negative infinity.
So what if we let Him lead the brainstorming session, instead? No matter how many plans I make, God determines the outcome. No matter what plans you make, He decides where they go. His plans trump yours. When you understand and embrace that, it changes everything.
Do you tend to ignore God in your planning, consult Him occasionally along the way, or do you acknowledge His authority and let Him lead you from the start?