Connecting the Dots
So, 2020 may not have panned out like we thought (understatement of the year). I’m working on not taking that baggage with me into the new year. The circumstances we are currently in won’t magically go away when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, but we can choose a shift in mindset. We can lay the foundation for newness.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”
I have often heard people loosely refer to this scripture by saying that we make our plans and God laughs. That hasn’t ever settled well with me. The idea that God would laugh at our plans seems out of character. I don’t think it’s the tone this verse is meant to convey. I think we should look at it more as a reminder and a safety net. I like the message translation of this verse.
“We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.”
I run pro/con lists and what ifs in my brain round the clock. Most of it gets me nowhere. However, when I stop to pass my plans before God’s eyes, which I do far too little, I gain a perspective that all the comparison I could manage doesn’t come close to. This serves as a reminder that God doesn't depend on my brainstorming, but I depend on His. I just need to be still and hear Him. It also serves as a safety net because if I am seeking God, then any step I take in the wrong direction will easily be rerouted by His purpose.
Instead of thinking of this verse as a caution against making plans because God will just laugh at them, we should see it as an invitation to realign our plans with God’s purpose. His purpose prevails, always. It is for good, always. It is even individual for my life, always.
This doesn’t mean that we stop planning, it just means we hold our plans in open hands.
It means that I try to see my plans through God’s eyes. He is always looking at the big picture.
I knew this was my new planner when I read the front. “Maybe we should write that down”. I loved it immediately! I'm choosing more carefully what I write down. The "maybe" will remind me to ask God about what I am writing down. I want to write down the right things this year.
I seem to always measure my day in tangible things I got done, but that’s not how God measures my day. I miss celebrating all the things I did get done when I choose to stare at what wasn’t finished. I’m so glad that isn’t what God sees. He doesn’t measure my day by unfinished projects. He strings my days together with the common thread of His purpose.
That is how we need to look at this new year. One day at a time, moving towards God’s purpose, one step at a time. I’m taking this perfect planner and I’m going to record success, not by things checked off my list, but by things I paid attention to and didn’t let slip through my fingers. I'm going to remember to ask God about my plans first and then enjoy the assurance that His plans will prevail.
I’m going to slow down and try to see my days through His eyes. I want to celebrate each day’s progress as it ties into His greater purpose for me.
All the plans of 2020 that didn’t come to fruition weren’t lost. The dots just haven't been connected yet. Nothing from this last year has been wasted, it just needs to be rolled into tomorrow, and then tomorrow, and then tomorrow. God is working toward a beautiful picture even if it seems all our dots are random.
I will keep making plans and asking God to connect my dots, and I'm going to keep looking for the bigger picture they create a day at a time.