This was a busy Christmas and I was coming down with a cold. I went the over the counter self medication route until the day after Christmas.
When the clogged nose turned into a full fledge infection, I dialed the doctor with hopes of a new plan, antibiotics.
I sit here this morning with a full day of steroids, antibiotics, and $50 nose spray behind me and believe I will be ready to roll again soon.
Roll into the new year.
The World’s Influence on the New Year
Everywhere on FB, Google +, Flip, and every other social media outlet is the pressured cries to make sure 2014 is full throttle, completely planned, and ready to be the biggest year ever.
I believe in plans. I know that new year’s resolutions don’t work. Statistics say that 75% of all resolutions will be broken before January ends.
So plans need to be more than declarations. They need to have some thought, prayer, and details behind them.
How can I think, pray, and plan a whole year in the next 4 days?
I can’t. We can’t. It is just a set-up for disappointment and failure.
I actually learned this lesson over a decade ago.
God’s Plan Is The Only Sustainable Plan
I learned that the only sustaining plan is God’s plan for our lives. That eternity with Jesus doesn’t wait for our physical lives to end. It starts when we receive Him as Lord and Savior of our lives today and everyday…..from now throughout eternity.
Our eternity with Jesus is in motion and it can begin as soon as we are committed to following Him.
After much gnashing of teeth trying to figure out my life on my own, I succumbed and sought His plan. It still wasn’t pretty. I actually whined a lot.
“Lord, I have always been passionate about what I do in life. I am apathetic. This can’t be right!”
“Lord, how long do I have to be in this wilderness for you to give me the flashing signs of what my perfect life will look like.”
He must have been so sick of me.
I was so sick of me.
Since ancient times no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. Isaiah 64:4
We Have To Shut Up Long Enough To Learn
I guess I finally wore myself out with my complaining and shut up. Then I started to learn things.
- Following God’s plan takes energy. I was significantly burned out. God knew this and was trying to get me to rest. He wanted to repair some of my self-inflicted damage so He could use me for His purposes. (I wrote a series on burnout that begins here.)
- You follow a plan one step at a time. I didn’t have to do everything I ever dreamed of simultaneously. Actually, through Ecclesiastes 3:1-17, I learned that all of these seasons are inevitable, and by definition, are not to be experienced 100% simultaneously.
- Plans don’t always have destinations. God’s path for me is the plan. It is an eternal path. With eternity we continue moving – rather than just keep looking for one destination after the other. On this journey, we can begin to live our dreams daily, the dreams that God gave us when we finally looked to Him.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light. Psalm 36:9
- Obstacles are often part of the plan. It is the part that grows our faith and trust in HIm. Many of us, when the giant wall stands in the middle of our path, give up. We say, “I knew that the dream couldn’t happen.” And we put the “if I did this I could truly be happy” dream and put it back on the shelf. We bitterly shrug and change back to the path of this world. These barriers are not too big for God! We need to trust Him and find a way over, through, or around the blockage.
- A good plan should be a custom fit. That if it is God’s plan for us, it will ultimate fit us like a perfectly sized glove. Fit our personality, our interests and our values. Why? Because God created us too!
- The best plans unfold naturally. Ultimately, if it is God’s path and plan, you just know it and feel it, and it unfolds before you….barriers, naysayers, and crossroads….beware.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
As you approach the new year, I’d like to make just two, humble recommendations about formulating goals or plans:
- DON’T succumb to the pressures of the world. Have faith that there is a place where your dreams and God’s path converge and you can find it. Don’t settle for less.
- DO take time to seek God’s plan for you in the next few weeks and months. Ask for Jesus to help you and the Holy Spirit to guide you.
Finding God’s path for your life, including your business or career, will ultimately create the plan for eternity. There will be twists and turns, and possibly some detours, but they will be God directed and regardless of the barriers or obstacles, you will be living your dream.
Remember, even our dreams come from Him!
And, if planning is not as much of a passion and natural activity for you, like it is for me (I can’t stop planning!) then you may want to take a look at a life planning course I created a few years back for my clients called Life by Design. My clients have enjoyed using this coaching program to help them uncover their truest self, the one God created, and identify their core values so that can build their plans on that solid, personal foundation.
The course will help you go beyond the typical plans and discover you ‘God-sized’ dreams. It provides some practical tools for overcoming common obstacles and leaves you with a road map that is less about the destination and more about making inspired daily choices that create a life you’ll love.
Happy New Year!