In general, I like to plan things. I like to know what’s going to happen next. Even when I was younger, I preferred to have some direction in my life as to where I was headed. When I didn’t have clear directions, I would become frustrated. Even today, I would prefer it if Siri would tell me the next two steps instead of just one when using GPS.
This is not only true in driving. It applies in every area of life. If you have a goal, of any kind, it’s useless without a plan to get there. If you have a direction, it should determine your days, how you spend your time. That is the importance of setting goals. But goals come from a vision that God will give you.
For followers of Jesus, sometimes we make this much muddier than it needs to be. We can fall into a trap of praying for God’s will to be revealed to us while twiddling our thumbs and never really doing anything.
In Proverbs, a really wise man wrote:
“People make plans in their hearts. But the Lord controls what they say. Everything a man does might seem right to him. But the Lord knows what that man is thinking. Commit to the Lord everything you do. Then your plans will succeed.”
Just a bit later, he adds another statement:
“In your heart you plan your life. But the Lord decides where your steps will take you.”
From these two statements I know a few things are true.
- Plans for life come from the heart.
- Plans only succeed if I commit them to God (a matter of my heart, that He will weigh out, because He knows my thoughts).
- God decides where my steps will take me while that plan is being worked out.
There seems to be the idea here that I’m not going to plan out every step, but if I’ve committed what the plan is to God, and allow Him to weigh my motives out to make sure my thoughts are more in line with His, then I can trust Him to take me where He wants me. I may not know every detail along the way, every little turn, every person I may have to interact with, or task I’m going to be asked to accomplish, but I know that ultimately He will be guiding me.
While I was thinking about this, the word “schematic” popped into my head. And, I wanted a better idea of just what a schematic is. So, I did what any 21st century kid would do, hopped on my bike, went to the library, searched the card catalog…of course not. I went to Wikipedia:
A schematic, or schematic diagram, is a representation of the elements of a system using abstract, graphic symbols rather than realistic pictures. A schematic usually omits all details that are not relevant to the information the schematic is intended to convey, and may add unrealistic elements that aid comprehension. For example, a subway map intended for riders may represent a subway station with a dot; the dot doesn’t resemble the actual station at all but gives the viewer information without unnecessary visual clutter.
And isn’t that the truth?
God gives us what we need “without unnecessary visual clutter”. He allows us to stay focused on Him, to tune our hearts to His heart, and He takes us on a wild journey. All we have to do is trust Him. He guides our steps. He reveals things to us as we need them.
So, what are your plans? Do they reflect His heart? Do you trust Him to guide your steps?
What I do see in all of this, that there should be movement in my life if I am a follower of Jesus. Followers, after all, follow.