Yes, I am a planner. I like to plan things out, knowing that plans always change. I’m fully aware well-made plans rarely work out the way you thought they would, but I’d rather have to re-plan on the fly than depend on random luck. Yes, I even plan out vacations. I make a spreadsheet calendar to ensure we have time and opportunity to squeeze in all we want to do. I also include lots of downtime and free time. I’m not trying to stay busy; I’m trying to stay organized.
I enjoyed planning our trip to Italy last May. It was nerve-wracking, for sure, because I didn’t want to make a mess for everyone else, but I loved looking through guide books and maps, looking for places to run or bike, planning what books to take, watching movies to get in the Italian mood. I even loved building my spreadsheet with ideas for each day.
Calendars are great visual presentations of data. They’re like time-maps, and I love maps. I crave the big-picture, high-altitude view of everything. I want to see it all, all at once. As a result, I don’t like calendars that make you turn the page at the end of each month since no one lives their lives like that. I want my calendars to flow, week after week after week, like a continuous river of time, like an endless map.
I’m not alone enjoying the planning process. Psalm 139:16 says, “You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book.”
So God is a planner, a calendar-lover, too. Can’t you picture him holding a calendar in one hand and a pen in another, making entries for our future, all while closely watching each of our complex parts forming up into a baby?
Is that the level of attention God pays to us? It sure seems that way when I read Psalm 139. It sounds very hands-on and detailed.
When I think about our future I’m happy to know God has scheduled every day. He even schedules times when we should stop and rest. Knowing God has taken that level of concern, down to the day-by-day detail, gives us confidence and hope for tomorrow.
At a recent men’s retreat we looked at Ephesians 1:5, which says, “He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—.” (NIV)
Typically when reading this verse we skid to a stop at the word “predestined” and start arguing and fighting. But this time we considered the same verse from The Message translation: “What pleasure he took in planning this!” And that’s when I started smiling. I loved the notion that God took great pleasure in planning us.
It made God happy to plan our life, the people he would pull into our circle, the words he would give us to speak and teach and write, the wake we would leave behind. I wonder if God went around showing off his spreadsheet (like I do) because he was so proud of his planning.
“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32
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