How many times have you planned for things, no matter how meticulous in planning and contingencies were put in place, things just did not turn up the way you want it to be? Ever thought where have we failed?
Young people plan for their own future. They would pick the relevant institutions of higher learning that they want to enroll in, to learn up new marketable skillsets in preparation for their entry to the workforce. They plan for their own career progression, looking for opportunities to enrich their experience and climb the corporate ladder. Most would find their soul mates and planning for their marriage would be inevitable. If you did not get into the institution of choice or if your career did not progress as wanted or planning for marriage did not go smoothly, ever thought what have you forgotten in your plans?
Parents plan for their children to be healthy, constantly concocting healthy food and drinks for their children. Parents plan for their children’s education, consistently involved in their studies and whenever their children are behind in studies, they would send them to tuition centers with the hope to get better grades. Depending on the children’s ability, most parents would pick the best schools for their children to go to with the intent to develop their children’s potential to the fullest. If it turned out that all of our plans did not meet our desired goals, ever thought what have you missed in your plans?
Planning is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal (as explained in Wikipedia). I am pretty certain our plans would have included all these elements. Surely, we would have tried our best to ensure that our plans are faultless. But why our plans would somehow still end up with undesired outcomes or worse failure?
Read James 4:13-17: “13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
I have learnt from the Word of God that as believers, we must not boast of our plans for it is sinful to do so (James 4:16; Psalm 27:1; 1 John 2:16-17). Instead, we need to humbly present our plans before God for His blessings and let God take full control of them (James 4:15). Knowing that God is in control, we need not fear any abrupt changes in our plans as God will certainly provide better alternatives. Can we pre-determined how our plans would turn out to be eventually? Answer is No. God is in control (James 4:14). If we can abide by the aforementioned teachings, there would be no plans that we cannot implement with God heading them.
In case some of you may doubt and think you can do it all on your own. Try not to do so. I have tried and failed before. Whenever I commit my plans to God, seek His Will, acknowledge that He is in control and humbly work on my plans, He would always help me realized my goals. In my studies it was so. In parenthood it is so. And even in my career too.
Lastly, remember to pray continually, daily, for all the plans you have committed before God. This would help to remind us on our total dependency on God and seek His blessings and directions.
May the lyrics from the hymn “Have Thine Own Way, Lord” remind us to stay obedient to our Father God and do all things according to His Will:
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me, after Thy will;
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Brother Cheng Kim Yew