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Planning Ahead

Some people are good at planning ahead. My brother, for example, plans his trips meticulously. Every day, every stop, every tourist attraction, every family visit is mapped out with precision. And he and his wife enjoy the benefits of this careful research and planning.

Some people don’t plan at all. They just like to “fly by the seat of their pants.” Being spontaneous is sometimes fun, but it can lead to problems. Like no hotels available or attractions being shut down or poor timing on the long trips.

When planning concerts, we used to write out our list of songs. But we tried to be open to the Spirit’s leading to spontaneously change a number or two. Our friend, Al Smith, used to use the term “planned spontaneity.” In other words, we calculate a plan, but make it feel spontaneous, and remain flexible at all times.

Right now, my husband and I are in the midst of planning for a big trip. We are heading to Florida for the winter, but we will make several stops along the way. We’ll be filling our car to the max. That means packing some things that don’t need to be opened until we reach our final destination. And other things need to be accessible for the two week journey. Now that takes some serious thought and planning, but I’m trying not to get stressed out by it all.

Did you know that God makes plans and helps us in our planning? Here are some examples from Scripture. “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” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV). The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations (Psalm 33:11). A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9). The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty (Proverbs 21:5).

Are you making plans for something in the future? Remember to ask God to guide you in those plans. After all, He alone knows the future. So His wisdom is necessary in order to plan wisely and stay flexible. Let’s welcome His surprises, but be diligent in planning ahead. Being organized isn’t a bad thing, is it? But is there such a thing as being too organized? Too rigid? Too stubborn or set in our own ways?


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