Sunday, February 10, 2013

Planning

When we make decisions, do we consider the effects of those decisions?  Do we wonder how much it will cost, how long it will take, and who it might affect?  Usually the answer is yes, of course we do.  We can spend a lot of time thinking on the cause and effect of our actions.  This is a good and healthy thing to do, but how often do we assume that our analysis is complete?  That we have enough information to know how it will go?
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
(Jas 4:13-15)

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
(Pro 27:1)

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
(Luk 12:16-20)

Only God knows all that has come before and all that is to come after.  Only God knows where we are going and what will happen to us.  We cannot possibly know enough to ascertain for certain anything.  Our predictions are hindered by lack of information and clouded by our feelings and motives, which may or may not be entirely holy.  God has a plan for us.  It may not be what we want or expect, but it is God's plan.

I heard a priest describe God's plan like a tapestry.  He brought to mind a tapestry you might find in a hall of a castle.  The tapestry might be huge and very complicated.  From the back, it would appear to make no sense.  There would be threads appearing to go all over in a random fashion.  From the front, the tapestry would have a beautiful picture.  We only see the back of this tapestry when we are here on Earth.  God seen the front.  And while we may feel like a part of our life is just a random thread, God may be using it for a very amazing part of the front picture.

What we think will or even should happen may not contribute very well to that front picture.  Our plans may not align with God's plan for the big picture He's building.  We don't understand this very well as we think we can plan out the big picture fine enough on our own, but God's plan is infinitely better than anything we could possibly come up with.

I'm a planner myself.  I like thinking about plans and making them and then trying to see them through.  I like controlling all aspects of the planning and finding out what needs to be known to continue.  So this has always been hard for me!

So does this mean we should all stop making decisions and just wait for God's picture to fall on us?  Of course not.  But looking to God instead of ourselves for our decisions will help to ensure the decisions we make are in line with the Grand Plan.  I have personally found the more I read and study, the more often my thoughts go to what God would want when I'm making decisions.  And we must always pray.

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
(1Th 5:14-18)

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
(Pro 3:5-7)
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
(Jas 1:5)

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