Tues., Feb. 27, 2018
Proverbs 16:3 – Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans.
Recently, I had one of those really embarrassing moments. I showed up for an appointment an hour late. So late, I missed the opportunity to participate in the planned event.
I coordinate a local non-profit that provides food to school-aged students who might not have enough weekend food. A local business invited me to share information about the program to employees during a luncheon. I had it in my calendar for 1 PM. The lunch was at 12 PM.
Here I was, standing in at the business. Samples of the food bags in hand, ready to share why the company’s recent donation would make a difference to students in our local school district. I was mortified, embarrassed and disgusted with myself.
I have spent most of my life being a planner. I NEVER leave the house without my calendar. (I still carry a paper calendar. I know; it’s so 1990’s. But I like being able to LOOK at the week and month.) How could I write down the wrong time in my calendar?
Along with my calendar, I always leave the house with my to-do list. These are security blankets for me. Armed with my calendar and to-do list, I feel like I’m in control of at least some things going on in my life.
Until my plan fails.
I have lists for nearly everything in my life. For the areas I don’t have lists, I have intentions of creating a list. Is it inappropriate for me to receive great satisfaction when I cross things off my to-do list? Yep, I’m one of those people who will write something on my to-do list after I have completed it just to have the pleasure of crossing it off. I know; it’s beyond lame.
Lists are helpful for me. They are a place to keep track so I don’t miss or lose something. They help focus my attention for the day. While lists are great, they are helpful only to a point. What happens when I have the wrong time? What happens when I have more things on today’s list than I can accomplish this week? Yep, I’m one of those people as well. Way too many things on today’s list than I can ever accomplish.
Then, there is the challenge of my plan versus God’s plan. I can have great ideas and expectations of how to plan my day, week or month. Sometimes, God has a different plan. Often, I go ahead and make the poor choice. Other times, I get pulled from my choice and towards the choice God would rather have me make. Sometimes, I begrudgingly accept a new plan. Other times, I am not so gracious.
As I move towards a new life rhythm, I am trying to listen more carefully for God’s plans. I am discovering that it is REALLY hard to not let my plan take precedence over quietly listening for God’s plan. It is much easier to rush ahead with my to-do list than reflect upon what is most important. I like to tackle easy things I can quickly cross off of my list rather than tackling the bigger, more intense projects that require a bigger chunk of time. I choose the quick even when I know God would rather me focus more time and energy on life-changing bigger projects.
Life priorities that are not so important to God are little idols in my life. When I put more trust and confidence in them than God, I give them more priority and prudence than what God yearns for me to do. It’s so easy to ignore them as idols in our lives. But let’s be real. They are.
Any one else struggle with this? How do you quiet yourself to hear God’s plan for your life rather than the noisy idols that distract us?
Almighty God – thank you for having a plan for our lives. Forgive me for when I choose to listen to the gonging idol rather than allowing your plan to take root in my life. Provide me with wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
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