Planning vs. Doing

True confession: I am a planner. To a fault. I plan for all kinds of scenarios. When faced with almost any situation, I picture in my head how it might play out and I plan for how I will respond/react to that outcome. Then I pick another potential outcome and do it all over again.

I plan how certian conversations will go, especially if there is the potential for conflict, and I plan what I will say and how I will say it.

I plan my days, my weeks and my months, knowing full well that life almost always intervenes and throws my planning out the window, but I am compelled to do it again and again.

If anyone ever saw the crazy tangled mess of planning and re-planning and trying to anticipate life and how I will react to it that goes on inside my head on an almost constant basis, I would undoubtedly be quickly committed to the nearest psych ward for evaluation – probably donned in a white “hug-me” jacket that ties in the back just for good measure. I’m not a danger to others,  but to myself – now that’s open for debate.

I spend so much time planning and trying to control my little corner of the world that I sometimes neglect to do the doing.

I stumbled across a verse in Psalms this evening, quite the way one stumbles across a boulder in the middle of the sidewalk. Right there, nice and unobtrusively obvious in its placement on the page where my fingers turned and my eyes fell was this little gem:

“Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;”

Wait for it … wait for it …

“On that very day their plans come to nothing.”   ~ Psalm 146:3-4

Ouch. That hurt. I don’t want my plans to come to nothing. If I spend my life planning and not doing, then my life will also come to nothing. Not that planning in itself is a bad thing. It is a necessary part of life. But like anything else, it must be kept in balance and in proper perspective. It is in the doing that we live out what we are designed to do. It is in the being that we discover who we are destined to be.

I want to be close to Him; found faithful; called a friend of God; known by Him; sheltered under the shadow of His wing; someone in whom the love of Jesus is seen and the heartbeat of God is heard.

I want to do the will of my Father who sent me; the work of His hands; that which pleases Him and brings a smile to His face; that which honors His name and causes others to look to Him.

I want to plan my days, my weeks and my months, knowing full well that life almost always intervenes and throws my planning out the window; and that when it does, it is not because I have planned poorly, but rather because I have learned well to listen to the voice of the One who loves me most and am willing to let my plans go as I embrace His.

As I trust in Him with all my heart, leaning not on my own understanding, He will make my paths straight.

Now that’s something I can plan on.

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