What Planning Ahead Says About Love

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IMG_6011_650 I am not one of those moms that make lunches the night before school, lays out clothes for the following day, or start a project ahead of time. I wish I were. I tried to create new habits, but this one I have yet to master.

On the occasions I do plan ahead, I feel great. My mind is at peace; I am not overwhelmed or stressed out. I bounced with every step, feeling a sense of accomplishment.

The Bible says, Long before he [God] laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. (Ephesians 1:3-6 MSG)

and

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

I thought about what it means to plan ahead, the work it takes to follow through. I admire people that are always prepared… one of them is my dad.

As long as I can remember he’s been planner, especially when it comes to travel.

Each year we take an RV trip with my parents. My dad begins making plans months ahead of time. He highlights maps with routes in yellow and calculates the miles and time it will take to get to our destination. With the help of the Internet, he buys tickets ahead of time for the attractions on our itinerary. Campsites are researched and reservations are made. As we drive to our destination we are equipped with a list of pre–selected stops.

During the hours on the road, we play travel games, watch movies, and read books that were chosen and stowed ahead of time.

Even in an unfamiliar city we know exactly where we are going to eat.

A few years ago, we discovered the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Instead of arguing about where to eat, we chose places already vetted by the Food Network. Sometimes the restaurants themselves have become our destination.

I love the effort my dad puts into these trips. I know that he is thinking of my family, and me even before he is physically with us. I know he loves to prepare for us and it brings him joy.

How much more joy does it bring our Father in heaven to prepare and anticipated you and me?

Not only does God have plans to prosper us and not harm us (Jeremiah 29:11) but He establishes our steps (Proverbs 16:9). I can get in sync with His steps, having an understanding of this, His love, as exampled in the scriptures.

He sets the pace. I am confident that where we are going is in keeping with my needs and His will for me.

Just like when I travel with my dad, I don’t know all the details. I have a basic knowledge of where we are going and the places we’re stopping. That’s okay because usually there are at least one or two surprises along the way.

Instead of anticipating what comes next, I trust the plans God has made. I find can rest, and enjoy the present.