Saturday, October 20, 2018

The wise and the wisest

What action do you plan next? This is a tough question for some of us to answer because we just don't 'plan' our actions - we are more on the spontaneous side of things. Did you ever stop for just a moment to consider that even spontaneous actions are planned at some point? Yes, they are 'in the moment' actions, but we only do them because we have considered them either consciously, or deep within the recesses of our subconscious. All action is really based on some intensity of emotion combined with some belief we are to take that particular action. This is were things get a little complicated, because the intensity of our emotion may not always align with our beliefs! Sometimes they are 'way over the top' and just don't make sense in comparison to the action being enacted.

Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get. (Proverbs 20:18)

If you have ever made a 'resolution' to do one thing, and find yourself doing another, it isn't that you didn't 'plan' the action - it is likely that some emotion overrode the original or intended action. There are indeed times when we don't have well thought out plans that are truly "actionable" and "realistic".
If there was one thing that was drilled into me over and over again in nursing school it was that our goals (plans) for our patients needed to be actionable and realistic - something they could actually achieve. In other words, we needed to be able to show how we planned to accomplish the care for our patient, each step outlined in detail, until the goal could be realized - not just through our action, but as a result of how the patient would respond to those interventions. Why was this so important? Simply put - a plan that was outlined with detail gave us guidance in establishing the best course of action that would get us as close to the results we desired to see for our patient's best outcome.

Our "purpose" (PLAN) needs to be formed by asking for counsel. Asking for advice when formulating our plan is important because we NEED the input of others - especially God. Most of the time, we set out on plans ourselves without seeking the input of others (especially God) because we think we have it all figured out. Others (especially God) may see things in a different way, lending a well-rounded approach to the plan. When we have the wisdom of a counselor (especially God) on our side, we may have more "actionable" or "trust-worthy" steps to our plan. The counsel we receive is only as good as the counselor we seek out. In other words, if we want to succeed in weight loss, we go to somehow who has walked the path before us. If we want to learn to invest our finances wisely, we need someone who can live on a budget and who is able to spend wisely. When we come for counsel, we are seeking the opinion of that other person and we are looking for them to give us instruction that will affect our conduct. So, it is important that we seek the best counsel as possible - but never at the expense of excluding God's counsel from his Word and time in prayerful silence.

Every goal has to have actionable steps - those itemized increments that will get us to the goal. No step in the process should be without some purposeful action. If we are just including something into our plan because it looks good or sounds good, but really has no real purpose in aiding in the accomplishment of the plan, it is wasteful - unnecessary fluff that will sap our energy, time, and attention. We spend energy on something that has no results. When we do this, we "burn out" on the plan faster and we don't realize our original goals - intent was good, but execution was poor. What plans do you have for this day or week? Have you sought wise counsel to assist you in formulating your plans (especially God's)? If not, you might want to heed the advice of our scripture. The plans of a righteous man are ordered by God - especially God. The plans of a righteous man are actionable and measurable because they have been submitted to the counsel of the wise - and the wisest. Just sayin!