During the course of this past week I realized I was feeling a strange void and at first I couldn't put my finger on it. What was this frustration I was feeling?
And then it hit me...Stop planning!
So much of my life is about looking ahead and making plans.
Plan for the meeting.
Plan a sermon series.
Plan that event.
Execute The Plan.
But here in the midst of sabbatical I am being confronted with a call to stop planning for a while. If renewal through rest is the objective, then that requires the challenge to stop attempting to even plan out every minute of sabbatical, let alone anything beyond that!
As I was pondering these ideas, I read:
All this happened so they would follow his decrees and obey his instructions. Praise The Lord! (Psalms 105:45 NLT)
Contrary to what many people might think this verse and passage is about, God is not interested in creating automatons - simple creatures that just obey His every whim. No. God's decrees and instructions were intended to produce a framework for the ongoing relationship of God and His people. These words were a reminder to the people that God's ultimate purpose (All this happened so...) was to live in relationship with Him. What He cared about the most was the ongoing development of that relationship and the transformation of His people - not just the results they could produce.
Through this Word God reminded me that so much of the time my plans are all about the results they will produce. And most of the time I am mostly concerned about the external results of my plans.
Will the meeting be productive?
Will the sermon be good?
Will the event be well attended?
Will The Plan succeed?
But God isn't as concerned about the results of my plans as much as the ongoing development of our relationship together. He cares more about the internal results of my life than the external results. And I suspect that the greater the internal results of my life, the stronger the external results might be. But of course, that's not the ultimate point!
So I'm being asked to stop planning for a while so I can refocus on the inner qualities of my soul and my relationship with my Lord.
Have I mentioned this is harder than I thought?!