Planning A Life That Is Truly Life

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself ?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21

If I was left alone with a coffee and my thoughts, I’d have my life planned in one hour, and it would be equipped with good health, the perfect job and income leading to a happy retirement and no debt. I can and have literally wasted time considering the ‘what ifs’ of all the unknown parts of my earthly life.

God created me to be a planner and an organizer. In many ways these skills are blessings. They have helped in raising active busy children, running self employment opportunities, going on vacations and being an efficient multi-tasker. However, I have often reflected on the following questions: When is planning too much planning? When and how am I using the skills of organizing and planning in ungodly ways?

Well, God has been teaching me the answers to these questions. I have been learning first hand that when I try to plan my life and trust in that plan to come to fruition more than trusting God for my future, then that’s a problem. He has been teaching me to be content with the present day; to seek Him in His Word, and lay before Him my thanksgivings, my needs, and the needs of my loved ones each morning for that particular day only. Of course, each day includes doing tasks that are for future activities, but I am learning to let those things fall into their proper time and place, and not letting them consume my thoughts or my time. I have been trying to avoid my desire to drift over to pondering the ‘what ifs’ or the ‘wouldn’t it be great ifs’ more than to plan how to live out the will of the Lord, to seek Him that day. Focusing on the day at hand has truly helped me in avoiding the many distractions that have normally drawn me away and taken up precious minutes of my prayer time.

As Christ shared in the parable above, we never know when our earthly life will end. All my daydreaming and self-centered planning is all for nothing if I am not first seeking the Lord for my life for each and every day. In 1 Timothy, Paul instructs Timothy to tell the children of God – you and me – “to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6: 17b-19) We are first told to put our hope in God, our Father, and he will provide all we need for our enjoyment. It pleases Him to provide for His children as they put their trust and dependency in Him. Then, everything else listed in the passage concerns our behaviour and actions towards others that we will meet or decisions we will need to make that day, which we don’t necessarily know about when we wake up in the morning. Many of them are things that fall across our path throughout the day, like that person to whom we are to do good, and another to whom we are to be generous. These are the things that I am now praying about and asking the Lord to make my mind, heart, and hands ready and willing to be all that He desires me to be for those souls that He will put in my path that day, today, all the while trusting that He is looking after everything else for my good.

Although these prayers, thoughts, and actions may seem contrary to the world’s way of thinking and planning for the future, I am so much more at peace, and I desire to strive to receive and live the life that is truly worth living. So as we walk through each day of April – which will take us through the hallelujahs of Palm Sunday, the pain of Christ’s suffering and death, and the rejoicing of His resurrection – may we all give thanks each day for all that Christ has done on our behalf; paying the penalty of our sin, conquering sin and death, and reuniting us with our Heavenly Father, which allows us to lay ourselves and our lives at His feet trusting in His provisions. May you too trust Him with your life and seek to be His hands, voice, and feet to those He puts in your path every single day, striving to obtain the life that is truly life, now and for eternity.

Prayer: Dear Lord, it is so easy to get caught up in planning out my life and all its events. Please forgive me when I place my planning before seeking Your will for my life, my days. Please forgive me when I deny being generous and doing those good deeds which you planned for me to do. Help me to be your voice, hands, and feet to those you put in my path each day. Dear Lord, I desire to live the life that is truly life; the life that you have planned for me now and for eternity. In Jesus’ name. AMEN!

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