Killing the over-planner

I'm a planner. I love calendars, long-term goals, short-term steps that correspond with long-term goals, and pretty pens/notebooks to write out these goals and steps. I like having a vision and tangible steps to make my dreams happen. In light of this slightly controlling personality trait of mine, a recurring lesson that I keep on not-learning is that I must learn to hold on to my plans loosely. If I look at the past 8 years of my life my plans have changed almost quarterly. I never planned to attend Cedarville University and I sure as heck never intended on working for and graduating from a Southern Baptist seminary. I didn't plan on getting married pre-28, and I wasn't planning on staying in Raleigh for more than 2 years. I never expected to graduate from one master's only to jump straight into another (one day, I WILL be done with school!). And although none of these things were in my original plan, I never expected to be so blessed in light of so many of my plans changing.

Now yes, I understand that there is a wisdom in planning. But it is evident in my life that I have a tight grip on my plans and it usually takes a sledgehammer to force me to let go.  slightly PROBLEMATIC.

Although I can look back on my life and see God's sovereign hand, I still go kicking and screaming when I sense a current change in my plans. Even though I fully acknowledge that 12-18 months down the road I'm going to look back see His faithful hand, I still throw a hissy fit and organize a thorough argument on why an all-knowing God should understand that my plan is fool-proof, brilliant, and better than His. Why is that?! Am I crazy?!

Our college ministry at our church has been going through the book of James and I'm still chewing on the James 4: 13-17 sermon done a few weeks ago. Earlier in vs. 1 the passage it says,

"What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?"

I have been feeling that internal quarrel for the past few months and am continuing to feel the tension between my desires and God's desires for my life. What I've come to realize is that I start kicking and screaming when my passions and desires for my life become self-centered and a major priority. I see changes happening and rather than viewing them through a Gospel-centered framework, I filter them through a "is this what I want/planned" mindset.

Basically... it's all about me and thus the root of this tension is that I'm a self-centered, controlling, sinner. Ugh. I hate admitting sin (which is probably symptomatic of another flaw in my fallen nature...)

So in light of that... I keep re-learning the same lesson, praying that each time my plans change, God will give me grace to become less attached to my ideals and more attached and dependent on Him. It's a tough lesson... but maybe one day I'll get it...


Any of you in the same boat, still wearing water wings, refusing to jump in the water??  No, just me? Well... I happen to like water wings, and it's going to take some time for someone to rip them off of me and push me out of the boat... sigh. I make it so much more difficult than it needs to be.

Happy Thursday, Friday's a comin'!

Posted on April 13, 2011 and filed under Ordinary Life, Spiritual Journey.