“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now” ~Alan Lakein
The words of time management guru Alan Lakein were penned 38 years ago (as of this post) in his classic book “How to get control of your time and your life”. The simplicity of his book is what has made it valuable for busy people today just as it was in 1973 when if first hit bookstores.
As valuable as the thought is it really is worthless to all of us if we fail to do anything to bring our dreams and hopes to life. For years (most of my 20’s) I fumbled around in my life planning and though I was happy, I knew I was missing something. Many would say I planned well. I bought a house at 23, started a family at 24, and had a good career. Still, I wanted to do so much more than coast. At age 32 I began looking at my long term dreams and began the journey that has taken me to where I am now. In the past 12+ years I got serious about setting life goals and taking steps to move forward on them. The scariest part was the first step. With the goal in mind but the end not clearly in sight, moving forward took faith. It was then I realized that a long range life plan with clear steps was the only way I could confidently move toward where God was calling me. The Bible tells us that the Lord expects us to plan:
May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!
(Psalms 20:4 ESV)
I’ve heard many people just sit back and say “If it’s the Lord’s will, it will just happen.” While that statement technically has merit, for many it’s an easy cop out. The narrative in Proverbs 6:6-11 tells the tale of an ant who plans wisely while one who fails to plan will live in poverty. The idea here is to plan ahead and be wise. God can and will alter your plans at some point but that’s part of the joy of living in faith. If you have a good plan, you can still achieve even if you modify it at various points along the way.
The idea is to give God your best. When Joshua took control of the nation of Israel in Joshua 1 he knew he was going to be wandering for many years before entering the promised land. As Joshua 3 begins, we see God’s man planning ahead for the siege of the land that he knew was theirs. Still, he gave God time to give his plans direction and purpose. Planning works! Take some time and bring the future into the present so you can do something about it now!