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The questionnaire

What gets you going? What helps you get out of bed in the morning? I mean besides an alarm clock.! Do you have a plan for the day? Or is your plan to take it as it comes? I remember a time in my life when someone started with this line of questioning how uncomfortable it made me. My goal was to serve the Lord and make heaven my home. Pretty much everything else just ‘happened’. Conversations about mission and vision and purpose were as meaningful to me as if they had spoken in an unknown dialect.

One day I realized that if I have a plan, I would not float through life and waste a lot of time and energy. To not have a plan or a purpose, is to be held hostage by the plans and purposes of others. My discovery was that other people loved planning my life. During this period of my life I decided to go away for a week and plan my preaching for a year. I was nervous and uncomfortable whenever I thought about planning my preaching for a year. My arguments consisted of things like ‘what about the leadership of the Holy Spirit’? ‘How can this be of God’? My excuse making through out my life had sounded very spiritual, but really was just an excuse. I went to a retreat center and prayerfully forced myself to prepare for a year. It was a painful week. I did it because I forced myself to spend the week praying, thinking, and outlining sermons. By Friday I was excited. Through out the next year I could hardly believe how a particular sermon matched what was happening in the world and our local congregation. It was as if the Holy Spirit knew ahead of time what we would be facing. In case you missed the last sentence, I came to understand that planning and trusting God is really good theology, God does know what we will face.

Preparing a year of sermons was only the beginning. I came to understand that God is a God of plans and planning. So, I started planning my year, months, weeks and days. I had fits and starts, some good days and some really poor weeks, where I never paid any attention to my plan. But, sure enough, day by day, week by week I began to work my plan. I made some wonderful discoveries along the way.

I discovered that only the prepared are in a position to change. If my sermon was planned out and I sensed that the Lord was leading in a different direction, I had confidence in making the change. If my day was planned and God sent someone across my path, I was prepared to change, because I understood my plans were not written in stone, just my attempt to redeem my time. Because I began to view time differently, I was able to make adjustments constantly.

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t have to adjust my plans, but I still have plans and lists and goals. I am a believer in planning tonight for tomorrow. I think making a list and checking things off is a good way to handle our activities.

I still miss things, and forget things, and make mistakes, and don’t allot enough time for certain activities. You might say I am a work in progress. I will keep writing lists and setting goals. What are you doing today to get things done?

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