Have you ever had a really good plan which you set in action? Only to realize halfway in that you hadn’t put in enough preparation? (Or am I the only one who jumps in with both feet, and think afterwards?) Actually, I do this so often that I sometimes have the impression that the Lord’s snickering at me, in a polite, covered-mouth way. All in good fun, of course! As though saying, “So you thought you had it all figured out, did you?” Well in a word, “Yes, I did.” But I learned a valuable lesson this week.
“A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t and even brags about it,” Proverbs 13:16 (TLB)
Good solid ideas take careful planning and preparation.
And I realized, after announcing a daily devotional plan without proper planning, that it just wouldn’t work. For one thing, our internet is just too sketchy. When, oh when, will I ever learn to slow my impetuous spontaneity? I thought I could just do them day-by-day, while preparing 1-2 weeks ahead at the same time. I do have some common sense; it just didn’t work out.
“If one of you is planning to build a tower, you sit down first and figure out what it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job. If you don’t, you will not be able to finish the tower after laying the foundation; and all who see what happened will make fun of you. ‘You began to build but can’t finish the job!’ they will say,” (Luke 14:28-30).
I forgot that anything can happen, and in this case it really did. We got another huge snowstorm. With such heavy, wet snow that it knocked out a major power line for our area. 300,000 electric meters with no power, or over 500,000 people. And no electricity means no heat, lights, or internet; 30 hours long for us. No internet means no blogging, which meant zero devotionals for Monday-Wednesday. The plan was good; but I paid the consequences of poor planning, with no daily devotionals coming out after all.
I don’t want to make the same mistake in my spiritual walk.
I long to become more like Christ. I want to know him more. I want my life to shine for him, so that others see his love, grace, and mercy, through me. But that takes two important things.
Counting the cost.
Planning and preparation.
In his talk on planning, Christ first said that true discipleship takes planning and preparation. We must prepare to follow him with our whole heart and soul. And plan to suffer for him, if necessary. But for a walk that strong we must know his Word and learn to trust him.
“Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and themselves as well. Those who do not carry their own cross and come after me cannot be my disciples,” (Luke 14:26-27).
And he concluded by revealing the cost of following him — which is all.
“In the same way,” concluded Jesus, “none of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have,” (Luke 14:33).
So while I must abandon that plan, however good, I’m keeping my larger goal in mind. That of becoming like Christ and knowing him more. After counting the cost, I realized daily devotionals would take too much planning and preparation. And better internet.
But following Christ? That’s worth any cost. It’s worth everything! Don’t you agree?
I’ll just keep on as before, sharing as the Lord leads and enables. And I’m secretly glad; it will give me more time to read other great blogs!