Do you like to plan?
I know I do. It makes me feel accomplished. Productive. In control. Planning eases my anxiety because I know what to expect. Plan the work then work the plan, right?
The problem is we rarely actually work the plan. We spend time, energy, resources getting everything we need to create a long term plan...we plan the work, but rarely do we work the plan.
God may have given you a vision, a word, a calling, and unless God tells you otherwise, that doesn’t change...but how we live it out does. Things change. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.
I am already hearing the anxieties from many leaders about what will happen this fall. What will be possible in a world where we are living with COVID-19? And we spend a lot of time thinking, wondering, worrying, and trying to plan.
Here's the thing: We don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
This week I started to read the book Win the Day, by Mark Batterson. I only got through the Introduction but it was good. He talks about how we spend much of our time living someone else besides the present moment. We dwell on yesterday and worry about tomorrow. The power is learning how to live in the present.
The biggest mistake we make in ministry is when we spend a bunch of time planning ahead.
Jesus tells us: do not worry about tomorrow. It won't help you. It won't change what's to come. It won't add days or years or ANYTHING to your life. In fact, research shows that worry and anxiety shave years off. It's unhealthy for us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
In fact, Jesus gives us a model of praying and living clinging to and trusting in God day by day. One day at a time.
“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father, who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' " (Mt 6:9-13 AMP)
Does this mean you shouldn’t give any thought to tomorrow? Should you not even consider the things that lie ahead? No, I’m not suggesting that at all, but most of us, if we are honest, we do more than take some time to be thoughtful about what we could do in the future. We spend the majority of our time living there. It's where we spend most of our energy. So, be thoughtful? Yes. Have some ideas, but hold them extremely loosely because...as you FULLY are present and live in TODAY, that’s how tomorrow becomes more clear.
If you didn’t spend the time you do thinking about the future, what would be possible for you, your ministry teams, your congregation, and your community today? Living fully in the present is the best thing we can do today and eternally changes tomorrow.
Schedule 15 minutes to sit with God and pray Matthew 6:9-13 for the next 7 days.
And ask God to show you how to live and love fully today.
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