Summary: What's the good in having a plan? How does trusting God give us purpose in life?
Interactive Homily for The Feast – January 26, 2016
[The following was an interactive message at a mid-week outreach event at an inner-city mission in downtown Toronto Ontario]
Before worship; I’m going to ask you after we sing some songs, about what vision you have for your life. What are some plans that you want to accomplish in the next while/year/couple of years.
So I need you to help me think something through. You guys up to contributing to a conversation?
Who here has a vision, a plan that they want to accomplish? Who here wants to name a goal that they have for their life in the next year or 2?
“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower
What happens when you have a plan for what you want to do? Does it give you a purpose? Does it make getting up out of bed easier? Or does it have no impact on your life?
What happens when you have no plan at all about what you are going to do? You usually achieve it.
There’s a passage from Scripture that came into my mind yesterday that I find encouraging and challenging. It’s this: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish”
We need to have a focus, a plan, in order to live the best lives we can live. But how do we come up with a plan? How do we choose?
Sometimes we ask that question and we keep asking it and never get an answer because we want to come up with a perfect plan. We’re afraid of having a bad plan.
General Patton, a key leader in WW2 and a big reason that we won the war, said this regarding military strategy, but it also applies to my life and your life:
“An imperfect plan today when it’s needed is better than a perfect plan a week from now when it’s too late/not needed”
So for those of us so inclined to dream of a better life, an improved situation...we need to dream, we need to have a vision and we need to have a plan.
The passage today also lets us in on the fact that God cares about our lives, and that God being a part of our life is a big part of coming up with a good plan and vision.
The passage says: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Another translation of this passage that tries to bring it home to us a bit more clearly is this: “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed”.
About 350 years ago a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year they established a town site.
The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness.
In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?
Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town.
They had lost their pioneering vision. With a clear vision of what we can become,, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries.
God does care about your life. He loves you more than you can imagine. And His purpose for you is to “attend to what He reveals”.
That means it’s really good if you pay attention to God. It’s really good if you trust in Him. If you do that, He will direct your paths. He will give you a vision.
He will help you develop plans and vision that will give you joy and motivate you to live at your best.
At one point in my life I had no vision, no plans. Life was meaningless and joyless and without purpose.
When I received Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, everything changed. And over time, as I learned to listen and obey, God directed all of my paths.
Everything good in my life is directly from God’s hand.
May we learn to pay attention to what God reveals to us.
May we learn to love Him and to love the Son that He sent to us to save us from our sins and to lead us into lives of blessings and purpose. Amen? Amen.