I pray three things for this series:
But I’d much rather refer to myself as “a planner.” I simply prefer to know what is going on.
It’s a really good day when I’m also the one who gets to dictate exactly what is going on.
I’m quite good at it, actually. I would even go so far as to say that it’s my gift. To dictate. To plan.
Plan, plan, plan.
I have my daily plan, my weekly plan, my annual plan and my life-long plan.
Like I said, it’s a gift.
Week-on, week-off, I shared carpool duties with another mom. On my non-driving weeks, I had an extra hour or two a day to write. I worked it out perfectly to get Kid-Two fed, changed and down for his nap precisely at 1 pm every day, so I would have three full hours to write before Kid-One got home from school.
What a plan, eh?
You’d think so.
But it seems there were variables to said plan that often, (permission to speak freely), SCREWED THINGS UP FOR ME. Kids throwing up, not eating lunch fast enough or not wanting to nap at all. Or a carpooling partner who had a life and children of her own (what EVER!) and sometimes needed to change the carpooling schedule (are you KIDDING ME?).
On those days, I found myself behaving like a three-year-old, stomping around the house pouting. “Why am I always the one whose schedule gets messed up? What about MY book? What about MY time? What about ME? I might as well not plan ANYTHING. (stomp foot, cross arms) Waaaaaaaaaa!”
After repeated temper tantrums, it occurred to me that perhaps God was trying to tell me something. And maybe I should shush-up and listen.
“Our insistence upon seeing ahead is natural enough, but it is a real hindrance to our spiritual progress.” A.W. Tozer
Giving God permission to mess with my plans has been a real battle for me over the years. See, God also has a plan for my day, my week, my year and my life. And truth be told, I haven’t always invited Him to my planning meetings. I mean, I thought I had consulted Him, but honestly, I rarely checked in once the plan was in motion. I rarely asked Him for updates or input once I had it written on the day-timer.
Clearly, God was trying to wrestle something out of my hands—trying to take control of something I preferred to handle myself. Namely, my schedule. My time. My life, really.
“OK, God, what do YOU want me to do today?”
I started taking my written agenda to Him each morning in prayer.
I would literally hold my day-timer open to the page marked “Today” and pray, saying something like this:
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” (James 4:13-15)
That’s a scary prayer to pray when you’ve got control issues…er, I mean, The Spiritual Gift of Planning.
While often God gives my daily plan His stamp of approval, He sometimes throws the entire plan out the window. After all, God has been known to tell me to adopt a stray animal …or another child. Talk about a change of plans!
I have a sneaking suspicion that He’s planning on extending The Year of Yes well into the rest of my life.
In the simple act of humbly submitting my plans to Him, God is teaching me to see His hand weaving the very fabric of my life. He’s showing me where He can strengthen and encourage me in areas where I previously struggled alone. He is especially revealing to me little by little, that though the days and years don’t look exactly the way I’ve planned them to look, His spiritual blessings far exceed anything I hoped for myself.
Lesson Learned: Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. ~Proverbs 16:3
Coming up on God Speaks Today:
~Wednesday: Girls Night Out, Houston TX recap! I’ve met some bloggy friends you may have heard of! Complete with pictures. Fun Fun!
~Friday: Fitness Friday: Getting fit in 2009? Practical help to achieve your goals.
~Sunday: Practically Speaking: Extraordinary Truth for Ordinary Days, Part Two.