DAY 103: Monday 29 June
THERE’S A PLAN
Good morning all
We live in uncertain times the like of which I have never experienced before. I was born soon after the end of WWII so unlike some of our older members I did not personally experience those years of conflict. But one thing that is obvious from history is that there needed to be plans to bring the victory and often those plans had to be changed and adapted. Precision military planning could deliver victory on the front line, but equally complex planning was needed to protect and feed the population back home.
Today the current coronavirus pandemic has called for critical planning across the world, and some nations appear to be handling their planning strategies better than others.
All being well the works to improve accessibility in our Chapel building should begin next month. We drew up several draft plans before settling on the final design and over the next few weeks the construction company will need to have a plan to deliver the finished design. They will need to plan deliveries of materials, plan the sequence in which the various jobs are undertaken and plan how to complete the finished work on time and on budget.
In more normal times, there’s a lot of planning going into Chapel activities – services and meetings have to be planned in advance, the lunch club menu has to be planned and then prepared and served on time. 3GF minibus trips have to be planned – where we’re going and the cost, the pickup order and timings, and then preparing the advertising leaflet in advance. Every month the printed monthly Chapel Notices sheet has to planned, assembled and printed. All these things need planning in advance.
In our lives we are planning all the time – when and where to shop, home and garden improvements, where and when to go for holidays, what to get for birthday and Christmas gifts. How often do we need to adjust our plans and how often do we admit our plan didn’t work or had to be changed?
A story was told by Jesus about a successful farmer who had a plan -
Luke 12:16-20 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
Was it wrong for the man to want to plan to expand his business assets, it was surely better than to have no plan at all? Where it went wrong was in the planned outcome – his vision was wrong in that he was planning to take life easy and enjoy with no thought for his life or eternity. He could not know what would happen in the future. Far better if we trust our plans to God’s providence – if it is God’s will, then we will do this or do that.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Planning is the second of four stages of delivering successful change whether it be in government, business, education, church, home, family or personal –
Vision – what will be achieved at the end?
Planning – detail of how will we get to that objective?
Execution – doing what is planned
Completion – Finished! Done! Complete! Enjoy!
After creating the universe and all that is in it, God had a vision to bring back to Himself all of His created humanity who had wandered away in sin. After sending countless prophets and messengers to plead with His people to return to Him, God had the vision to redeem mankind. He planned to send His own Son to be that Saviour. He planned to become man in the baby Jesus and then to be executed on the cross, and then to rise again in victorious completion – job done!
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Hymnalong for today >>> YOU’RE THE WORD OF GOD THE FATHER
Vera is still in hospital receiving antibiotics for an infection believed to have been picked up in the hospital, but is otherwise still making progress and can’t wait to be allowed home
MAKE YOU SMILE:
Dear God, we make You so solemn,
so stiff, and old, and staid.
How can we be so stupid
when we look at the things You’ve made?
How can we miss the twinkle
that must have been in Your eye
when You planned the hippopotamus
and the rhinoceri?
Who can watch an ostrich swallow
then doubt that You like to play;
or questions Your sense of humour
hearing a donkey bray?
Could the God who made the monkey
have forgotten how to laugh:
or the One who striped the zebra
and stretched out the giraffe?
How could an oldish person
have fashioned a pelican;
or a perfectly staid Creator
ever imagine man?
– HELEN SALSBURY