“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfil to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. (Jeremiah 29:10-14)
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them round your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favour and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:1-6)
I am one of life’s planners. My chosen career in teaching suited me very well. When I started out in teaching it was lessons that had to be planned, but as I moved through my career it became timetables, budgets, other people’s career development and finally whole school planning for the years ahead. What I am not good at doing is ‘winging it’ or simply ‘going with the flow’. A lack of plan puts me completely outside of my comfort zone.
Over the weekend I was checking over one of my current plans. For my birthday last year my mum bought me a book entitled ‘Veg in one bed’. It gives month by month instructions for designing, planting and harvesting vegetables all from one small 10 foot by 4 foot veg bed. Over the winter Rob has created the raised veg bed and in March I will start to sow, plant and then harvest from the bed all according to the plan. I am quite excited about the prospect of following the plan and seeing just what I can achieve in what is a relatively small space. I have had to adapt the plan a little to suit the space I have; big pots will be used for the potatoes to give me the space required, but apart from that I’m determined to try and follow the plan.
Life in general, however, does not always seem to go to plan and we can often feel as if we are simply ‘winging it’ or ‘going with the flow’ without there being a direction that our life is going in. As a teenager I had a clear plan for my life, which has not materialised, things just didn’t work out as I had thought they would. When we look at our world it is sometimes difficult to conceive that there is any plan being followed, it feels more chaotic than planned, much more as if as a world we are all ‘winging it’.
As Christians we are told to trust God, to believe that he has a plan both for our lives and for the world in which we live. We do not understand what the plan is, we do not understand the mind of God, so all we can do is trust. It is not easy, I would love to have a clear plan, to know exactly what I should be doing and to know what the future holds, but that is not a life of trust. So instead, I will continue going with the flow and winging my way through life as best I can, trying to follow where God leads for, whatever his plan is for each one of us, it will be the right one.
Father God, help me to trust you for the plan that you have for my life.