How to Balance Planning for the Future With Living in the Moment
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Last week I read this quote.
“The future we want tomorrow is affected by the choices we make today.”
If you’re a planner (like me) that kind of mentality resonates. You weigh and balance today’s decisions with one eye on the task at hand and one eye on the future.
Not so fast.
There’s a downside to always having one eye on the distant future.
It’s hard to be fully present.
I can’t help but think of something Francis Chan said in his book, Forgotten God.
“We don’t need to know God’s will for our life. We only need to know what we’re supposed to do the next 10 minutes.”
Well then, which is it? Should our daily choices be made in the context of a bigger picture OR is it best to live each day in ten-minute increments?
These are the moments I give thanks for common sense. Common sense and Moms. (The two often go hand in hand.)
My mother always said,
“It usually isn’t just one thing…it’s a combination of things.”
- Ingrown toenail? You guessed it. Probably a combination of shoes that are too short and nails that are too long.
- Intestinal issues? (Because mothers like to talk about intestinal issues.) Probably a combination of dehydration and lack of fiber.
- Feeling anxious? The remedy may be a combination of more sleep and less stress.
Singular, broader truths, are often found in the combination of other truths.
And so I’m reminded of this truth from the apostle Paul,
I’ve learned that about every 10 minutes I need to die to myself. My own plans. My own agenda. My own whatever.
I’m a steering wheel hog.
It’s easy to “theoretically surrender” my plans to God. Each time I have a new endeavor or direction that I think He may be leading me I’m sincere in wanting to know what He wants.
His plan is in motion. I jump in my figurative car and hit the road. But the real rubber that meets the road has to do with the state of my heart and how quickly I try to take over every nuance, detail, and concern regarding the trip.
That’s where the “every 10 minute rule” comes into play. I need to intentionally and consistently———
Let Go Of The Wheel
Let Go Of The Wheel
When I do I’m guaranteed a course correction from God. It’s like those updated features on new cars that barely require a driver.
- Car drifting into the passing lane? It automatically slides back into its own lane!
- Blind spot violated? A light beeps in the rearview mirror!
- Ice on the roads? Sensors shift to 4WD!
So what does this goofy car comparison mean for folks like you and me?
It means two things:
#1 It is good to plan, to set goals and to work toward future outcomes, especially when it’s done with a sense of surrender to the One who has good plans for us!
#2: It is even better when those plans are consistently surrendered because in doing so we have the constant reminder that we don’t have to shoulder the burden of the trip. (God is a very good driver!)
Bottom line, God has an ultimate plan and purpose for each one of us but His long term plan will always have room for a life that is fully lived in the moment!
That wasn’t near as complicated as I thought it might be, but then again I’m pretty sure our mothers already knew that.
Savoring the journey with you,