Depending on your personality or how you were brought up, you probably fall into one of two camps when it comes to your life and goals. You either plan everything out, taking away every possible surprise, thinking through every worst case scenario so that you are prepared for whatever life throws at you. Or, you fly by the seat of your pants.
If you still aren’t sure which one you are (or if you think, I’m both), imagine this scenario: You get in the passenger seat of a friend’s car and have no idea where you are going. How long does it take you to get stressed out? Some of you have hives just from the thought.
One isn’t necessarily right or wrong in all situations.
I’ve been reading through Proverbs recently, and I’ve been blown away by how many verses talk about planning and thinking ahead or getting advice from others. Here are just a few:
- Where there is no guidance, the people fall; but in abundance of counselors, there is victory. -Proverbs 11:14
- A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t, and even brags about it. -Proverbs 13:16
- Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors, they succeed. -Proverbs 15:22
- Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance. -Proverbs 20:18
- The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. -Proverbs 21:5
- A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. -Proverbs 22:3
- Get the facts at any price, and hold on tightly to all the good sense you can get. -Proverbs 23:23
- Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts. -Proverbs 24:3-4
Is it possible to plan God out of your life and future? Yes, and lots of people do it. We can make too many plans, think through every possibility so that we don’t need God’s guidance and power.
It is also possible to miss the work God wants to do because of poor planning.
Opportunities are missed because a budget wasn’t put together or stuck to. We miss out on opportunities or dreams because we didn’t have the money to take advantage of something or say yes to something.
Many marriages and relationships grow stale because we start going through the motions instead of planning the way we used to when we dated.
A wise person goes to God, has a plan, works from a plan, is willing to modify that plan as life unfolds. A wise person never walks into a situation unsure about what to do. They also live with the awareness that they may have to pivot when things don’t go as expected.