I like to plan. Really, why not? The future is like this blank canvas on which something will be painted, or the blank sheet of paper on which something will be written. Why not choose what I’d like to see there and then have something to work toward? And I like plans that are a little scary. Thinking back on highlights in my life, they always started with a kind of scary plan, and a question. Can I ride across Florida on a horse? Can I walk 20 miles a day for three days straight? Can I really go to a place like Cambodia? Can I make sense of bits and pieces of family history and use it to write a book?
There is almost always a plan in the making for me. If I don’t have something to look forward to and plan for I start feeling stagnant and uninterested in life. I know I need to consciously choose something. Sometimes it’s a dream that has been “cooking” in the background of my mind for a long time. Sometimes it’s an idea that spontaneously presents itself – through a conversation with a friend, a news article, a responsibility that I’ve accepted. But all of these methods of finding the next thing have a commonality. It’s pretty simple. I ask God to make my direction clear. I ask him to give me a dream that he will make possible. That is where the biggest, scariest dreams originate and they are things I would not come up with on my own. Making plans to follow those dreams not only have a wonderful sense of adventure to them but they also give me a chance to know something about God that underlines his reality. He does exist and I’m not inviting argument on that.
Am I afraid of big plans? Yes, often. But planning can take some of the fearful aspects away. That is the whole point for me – figuring out what I fear and then slaying the dragons. If God wants me going down that path he not only goes with me but he goes ahead and prepares circumstances so that even if there is danger or hardship, it is still possible to walk the path. I can be assured the end result will be growth, satisfaction, exhilaration. And if necessary I can do it afraid. Fear doesn’t have to paralyze. I am more likely to be paralyzed by laziness, lack of passion, stubbornness, selfishness. (In fact, several of those dragons are standing in the way of the publishing of this post.)
I have a fun plan to start something tomorrow. As carefully as possible I’ve put together elements that are protective, entertaining, and sustaining. The GPS is set for the destination but as always, I’m open for God to change the route… just sayin’.
Thanks to my blogging friend Orgoh for the prompt “making plans – fear or faith?”