I am a big fan of planning and those that embrace the discipline. Far too often, as our current economic situation suggests, we avoid any discussion about the risks, alternatives, and possibilities of the future. Embracing the variables, taking the time to reflect on how they fit with one’s priorities and values, and pulling one’s thoughts into a coherent plan are all parts of being wise, smart, and engaged. At times, the conversations are difficult, yet it is in our greatest challenges that the extraordinary opportunities emerge.
There is a risk with planning that we often ignore in a crisis. With planning, comes the need to work towards ensuring that our dreams become real. We develop processes and procedures, rules, and above all people to monitor the journey. As important and helpful as these are (I do believe in them), they also create a burden.
In our personal journeys, we are more responsible for the how we get to a destination than the destination itself. We are accountable for the why of our decisions. We are judged by our actions, the severity often measured by the result.
Planning can help, but it is not the definitive answer for what should happen in the moment at hand. We are required to exercise freedom. Planning helps informs us of our values and priorities, but planning is never static, rigid, or fixed.
In a given moment, we must apply our values and priorities, remember our plans, and then make a choice. This will require flexibility and being spontaneous! It may not seem easy, and at times it may not even be reasonable or logical, but responding in a way that was never planned may be exactly what God is inviting us to do. There are those that have embraced this approach. One individual described one of these events in this way; “Just then three men showed up at the house where I was staying, sent from Caesarea to get me. The Spirit told me to go with them, no questions asked.” (Acts 11.11)
God invitation is in the present.