By nature I have always been a planner. As a child, I would create priority lists of tasks I had to accomplish and would strategically leave them in places I couldn’t miss around my house. Today, I arm myself with Kate Spade Planners and apps like Wunderlist, and I can’t help but internally yell “preach” when I hear someone quip, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that one of my biggest pet peeves is arriving somewhere with a group and discovering, to my horror, that there is no plan.
Spending a year living in London and visiting over 20 different countries in Europe quickly reaffirmed my appreciation for detailed itineraries. Without Wi-Fi and the benefit of speaking the native tongue of an area, planning is not only helpful, it’s essential. That being said, some of the most memorable experiences I had abroad were the unanticipated ones. I learned that while planning has a place, it’s more important to adopt a mindset that things will inevitably go wrong, so when they do it’s best to be fully present in the moment and enjoy what comes.
While the act of planning is necessary in order to be productive and efficient in day-to-day life, it is important to evaluate what is at the root of our planning, specifically when it comes to the big picture plans we construct for how we’d like our lives to play out. Recently, God has been convicting me of my prideful thinking that assumes I know what’s best for my life. I’ve grown accustomed to relying on plans I’ve orchestrated to provide myself with a sense of security and direction, and as a result, I’ve been failing to look to the master planner Himself. There are some things we are simply not meant to know. Philippians 4:6-7 states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Instead of spending our time worrying about and trying to control the future, we can find peace in knowing that no matter what or what doesn’t happen this week or year, God will still fulfill his purpose for us.
When I graduate next May, I currently don’t have a job lined up. I’m still trying to decide if I should go to graduate school, and as I’m single, I don’t have anyone to align my plans with. I feel as if there are many crucial life decisions yet to be made. The truth is, God is so much bigger than any designated box (which is never big enough) on a planner. His timing is perfect. We don’t have to freak out, because there is a plan! God holds our lives in his hands. He knew every day of our lives before we drew our first breath. Psalm 37:23 says, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” (NLT). Our Heavenly Father weaves together every season and circumstance in our lives as individual strands in his grand design.
Just as David humbly approached God and acknowledged that God knew what was better for him than David did, so too must we defer to God. David relinquished control of his life and trusted that God would make clear the path he should take. Let this be our prayer as we go through life:
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life” Psalm 143:8 (NIV).