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“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD, “Plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
Proverbs 19:21
“The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
                He thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
                the purposes of his heart through all generations.
Psalm 33:10-11

In our family, the joke is that “plan” is a four-letter word. I say “plan” the way Fonzie would say “wrong”—like a car trying to start with a bad battery. The word is stuck, firmly, hooked on the epiglottis, with severe tissue damage when it at lasts rips free.

Ben Franklin once said, “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” The careful observer will quickly note that ‘plans’ are not in that short list. Another sage somewhere (likely Heraclitus) said, “the only constant in the universe is change.” It can be assumed this applies equally to plans.

I have learned repeatedly, and will likely need to continue to learn, to hold my plans loosely, like a horse’s reins. Whether it is for a day, a week, or a lifetime, if we hold too tightly to our picture of what it should look like, we will encounter many problems.
1)      We risk missing the blessings of serendipity.
2)      We will likely constantly face disappointment and frustration.
3)      We risk getting caught flat-footed when unanticipated changes occur.
4)      We lose flexibility.
I have learned to have an outline of events/tasks rather than a fixed schedule. I have learned how to rearrange, create backups, and backups of backups of my plans. I am learning to enjoy the ride rather than fret about detours and delays in reaching destinations, both literal and figurative.

Only God is free from the tyranny of the unexpected, the delay and the derailment. I call it tyranny, but it is often really the Hand of the Sovereign Lord showing us new opportunities. Even when it isn’t directly from His Hand, we can relax, let go of anxiety and worry, for if we are His, He will transform our situations to blessings, so it does us little good to fret unnecessarily, and it distracts us from adjusting to the new situation and being able to position ourselves in the most advantageous way.

It is a general truth of life that when we worry about our performance, we do worse, and when we let go, we enjoy it more and perform better. From dancing to sports to many other activities, the more we focus on the plan for the activity, rather than the activity itself, the more likely we are to lose joy, and experience agitation. This is just as true for lesson plans as any other activity.

Plan is a four-letter word. Joy is more easily found in flexibility…and it has eleven-letters.

Day 30 Praise:  May the Sovereign One be praised that His plans are true and certain, and we know with full confidence, He will succeed in them.


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