Plan Making

Adapted from

Back Talk and Better Plans

Maybe I was somewhere between five and six years old when I made a decision of something I was going to do, so I walked through our little living room with orangey shag carpet, stepped down one little step, passed my dad where he was watching the news (boring), and then stepped up another little step in the dining room and kitchen area where my mom was at the stove making dinner. I’m fairly certain some canned corn must have been in one pot, along with ground hamburger in a skillet.

“Mom, I’m going over to Wendy’s house.” Wendy was a few years older than me, and the coolest. We lived on opposite sides of a cul-de-sac where every house was filled with either an elderly couple or a young family. Wendy had a big black dog named Bosco that scared the “ever living” out of me, but Wendy, who let me play at her house, was worth facing the fear. And I decided right then was the time to get on my Big Wheel and go see what was up.

“Not now. We are getting ready to have dinner,” Mom said. Whaaatt? I’m not sure if I sassed her right to her face or not, but apparently, it was brewing inside of me. I turned from her, walked back through the dining/kitchen area, stomped down the little step into the living room and over to Dad. “Dad, can I go over to Wendy’s house?” He said, “I just heard your Momma tell you, ‘No’ . . . ‘So, no, not right now, dinner is almost ready.’” So, I turned from him and started to stomp back across the shag toward the little step up out of the living room, when the evil spirit of “back talk” overcame me, and I made a poor choice. I turned back to him and said, “Fine, now I hate you and Momma both.” My dad can get up out of a recliner so fast! If recliner dismount were an Olympic sport . . .

I earned a little time in my room with a bit of a bruised ego, self-indignation, and a red backside to think about the turn of events that had just played out. And now, we have had years of using that line in much more lighthearted moments with each other. I was making plans without their input. They already had plans for me—plans for dinner with corn and a hamburger. Plans to sit with me at the table and talk about the day. Plans to put a little pat of butter on my bread and pour me a glass of sweet tea. Good plans for me. Maybe they would have let me go to Wendy’s house all along when the time was right, but I jumped ahead and wrecked it.

His Plans Are Best

I had a conversation this week with a friend where we talked about making plans. We try to make so many plans based on our own understanding—based on how cool Wendy from the block is or based on where we want to be, in case we don’t get to do what we want to do. We need money. We want purpose, and we try to figure out all the ways to make that happen. And we make our plans. We walk by Jesus at that stove making us dinner and announce our plans, and then when He tries to shepherd us from the recliner as He sees us walking toward trouble, we stiff-arm and back talk because “we wanna do what we wanna do.” Or we want to do what we think we need to do because we aren’t sure He has the best intentions for us. “I need to go to Wendy’s house. That’s where the cool is. Don’t tell me no.”

What plans are you making? Who are you talking to about them? God’s Word tells us He has plans already in the works, and they are good. Sometimes it feels like we should be taking a little more charge over our plans. Go ahead and take a few big-kid steps, but you might miss dinner if you do.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” — Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

He can only make your paths straight if He actually has a destination planned for you. And you will only get there if you actually trust Him and allow Him to lead. I wish I had learned that lesson right there in our shaggy carpeted living room, but it has taken a little history between us for me to learn that what He has is best and that He will get me where He has planned for me. If you can identify at all, then reading Proverbs 3 may be encouraging to you today.

Think about things, then let the Lord establish your steps.

Haley Scully, MA, is the Vice President of Strategic and Ministry Projects with Hope for the Heart. In 2011, she began her work in the ministry’s counseling department before moving into the international work. She serves to develop partnerships, coordinate resources and distribution methods, and provide basic counseling and care ministry training for church leaders and parachurch organizations in over 25 countries around the world. Haley concurrently helps provide leadership for professional development initiatives that include training and resourcing Christian caregivers, life coaches, and counselors. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Oklahoma State University and Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Haley is passionate about connecting hurting hearts to hope in Christ and the practical application of God’s Word to their everyday lives. She is a speaker, author, trainer, and serves as a guest host on June Hunt’s live, one-hour, call-in counseling program, Hope In The Night.

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