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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Not just another list

You've heard the old adage, "The best laid plans of mice and men..." - but do you know the rest of the adage?  It actually says, "The best laid plans of mice and men go awry."  No matter how carefully we plan, something can always go wrong with our plans.  This is human nature.  Yet, we are planners, aren't we? When we go to bed at night, we are thinking about what the new day will hold, complete with our mental "lists" of all we need to accomplish. Some of us are actual "list makers", having all manner of post-its and agendas at our disposal to organize the vast number of planned things we must accomplish.  It took me some time to realize the real reason for my list making was just so I wouldn't forget to accomplish something!  I thought making lists was just part of life - as I had seen other successful people do it for ages.  Yet, I didn't really know why I was making all those lists until one day I discovered it was just because my mind was so full I would forget important stuff or deadlines if I didn't!  All our lists don't really serve much use in God's economy, though. He doesn't accomplish things in our lives "by the list" - he purposes to do them and he doesn't forget!


But it is just as the Scriptures say, “What God has planned for people who love him is more than eyes have seen or ears have heard. It has never even entered our minds!” (I Corinthians 2:9 CEV)


It is good for us to be reminded of God's plans, though. For within the limitations of our minds, we cannot possibly see the glorious plans he has for us. We might see hints of them, but we don't fully understand the magnitude and breadth of those plans until we see them unfold before us.  I know I knock on a whole lot of doors and look for an open window here and there in my life trying to find the right path to take at times. God's plans for me are quite different than some of the doors I knock on or windows I look in!  How about you?  God has unique plans for each of us - those he loves and who love him. Those plans are MORE than we have seen or heard - more than could ever be conjured up in our minds.

As a little girl, I admit I had a vivid imagination.  I could play for hours and hours in my make-believe world.  Whether it was playing with my dolls, or driving little cars around a huge mound of dirt in my make-believe city on a hill, my creative juices were flowing.  Families were in those tiny structures created out of popsicle sticks and mud.  Businesses were run from those tiny caverns carved into the side of the mound.  Roads would wash out with torrential rainfall from the hose sprinkling down on them.  Trees would be spring forth from branches torn apart from low hanging tree limbs on neighboring trees.  What I imagined was not true, though.  It was a figment of my daydreams - something created, but not true.

Imagine this, if you will, for just a moment - what we create in our daydreams is often "created" for our pleasure, but it is not based in truth, nor is it "true" for our lives.  Chewing on that for a while might give us a little food for thought today.  We "create" all manner of "lists" in our minds - all the while thinking they are right for our lives.  Yet, in the course of time, we see how "made-up" they are.  We find they aren't the "truth" we hoped they would be.  This is why reliance upon our "planning" is kind of dangerous and a little foolish.  We don't always base our plans upon truth - we believe some "form" of truth which we have created in our minds and hearts, but which has not a whole lot of actual substance when it comes to standing the test of truth in God's eyes.

We create a whole lot of things in our plans which are simply because we seek to be "pleasured" in one way or another.  Some executive once told me the purpose of the list for him was to have something to cross off at the end of the day.  It gave him a sense of satisfaction to see something "big" accomplished. I guess there is some truth to this statement, for we do find satisfaction in completing things we set out to do.  If this is the sole purpose for our planning, we will find it a shallow reward, though!  God's plans have depth - they don't wimp out on us because they are based on the reality of his truth.  

It is best to leave the planning to God, for our imaginations cannot clearly create the path to the "best" he has for us.  In fact, they may just hinder our progress toward it!  Just sayin!