12 hours. 650 miles.
That’s roughly the duration of and distance traveled for our recent trip north to and from visiting relatives for the holidays. While compared to some, it’s not necessarily an inordinately long excursion, but it was sufficient for our family to have many conversations while on the road… one of which centered around Jason, and his plans for the future following his high school graduation in May. After talking through a variety of ideas, I ended the conversation by reminding him that ultimately he would have to make the final decisions on what course to pursue. His quick joking response was… ‘I don’t want to do my plan. I want to do your plan!’ Everyone in the van laughed, but you know, the more I think about it from a spiritual standpoint, the more I realize all believers could benefit from adopting that kind of attitude.
At the beginning of a brand new year, a lot of emphasis is put on making self-improvement changes… better diet, more exercise, greater focus, innovative goals… and while there’s nothing wrong with any of those things (since most of us could benefit from being more disciplined!), it might be time to ask ourselves a key question… are those our goals, or are they the goals that God intends for us to reach?
Instead of setting a list of fresh objectives or resolutions for the upcoming months, perhaps what we really need is a shift in emphasis. Jesus put it like this. “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt. 6:25, 33)
While it’s natural for us to have concerns or preferences about how we’d like to see things to go in this life, there’s a point at which we need to yield to God’s plan and trust that His way is always right and ultimately best … even when it takes us places we could never have envisioned. After all, that’s the essence of faith… trusting, believing and acting … even when we cannot see what’s ahead. (Heb 11:1) And remember that there was a point when Jesus felt ‘overwhelmed with sorrow’ at the prospect of His impending future, but instead of insisting on a different plan or trying to manipulate His circumstances, He didn’t opt for what He wanted, but resolutely chose to do as His Heavenly Father willed. (Matt 26:38, 39)
So what’s ahead for you? None of us really know, do we? But even when the days ahead are clouded and we’re confronted with an uncertain future, we can be confident that we’ll stay on the right track when we adopt the same attitude Jason expressed regarding his studies… and regardless of what we face, choose to tell God ‘I don’t want to do my plan. I want to do your plan!’