With Christmas rapidly approaching, there are lots of plans being made: travel plans, family plans, church plans, eating plans, gift exchange plans, etc. Planning is a natural part of the holiday season, but also of life. In fact, I am by nature somewhat of a planner. I am not nearly as much of a planner as some, but I do like to have a plan for things. I like to wake up each morning and know the plan, and when there is not a plan, I can quickly get frustrated. Plans help me keep my crazy life organized.
Being a planner is an excellent strength to have, but with every strength also comes some weaknesses. One weakness of being a planner is that it is easy to get into such a routine that you never take any risks in life. Planners do not typically like change. Planners can also potentially overthink things too much, and “plan themselves” out of some excellent opportunities that are right before them. My brother-in-law, who I might add is much more of a planner than me, sent me this quote a while back: “There are some people who get so picky about what door they go through that they miss the opportunities God puts before them. They wait around for something wonderful to happen, but it never does because they’ve not shown a willingness to go through a divinely prepared and open door awaiting them….if a door is open now, you should seriously consider entering it rather than sitting around and waiting for ‘something better.’”
This quote reminds me that life is too short to play it safe all the time. In life, you have to plan to take some risks and plan to change. Planning and changing should be friends, not enemies! As a pastor, I face this all the time. I am a part of growing, thriving, and exciting church, and it would be very easy to keep playing it safe and not rock the boat. But, the minute I do is the minute our church has taken a serious step into complacency. I often say, “If you’re not changing, you’re dying.” Simply put, churches and Christians should make necessary changes to keep reaching a changing world with the unchanging Gospel. Planning and changing go hand in hand.
As you approach the New Year, perhaps you need to start planning to step out in faith in some way. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God…” A good question to ask God is this, “God, what am I trusting You for, that only You can do?” At the heart of all we do as Christians, there should be faith. Yes, plans fail for lack of wise counsel. Yes, you need to use wisdom and truly think through important decisions. But, you should also plan to change. You need to plan to step out in faith and truly trust God. Aren’t you glad God didn’t play it safe? He made a plan to change our lives. His plan involved sending His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, that you and I might have forgiveness of our sins and new life in Him. I am thankful God never changes, but incredibly grateful for the change Jesus has brought to this world. What a great plan that brought great change!