Mice, life, and if the Lord wills

In the midst of preparing for a planning retreat with a seminary board, Mother Nature provided me with a real-time object lesson in the importance of being flexible – a stance I describe as essential in a planner.  Five days of beastly weather, including 26 hours without power, had me scrambling to get done everything on my to-do list. It was one fall-back strategy after another.

ways_around_the_wall_11617As the poet put it, the best laid plans of mice and men (and women) oft go astray. We plan, but life happens.

Despite the disruptions, I managed to make it to where I had hoped to be by week’s end. I crossed a few things off my list as not that important. And a kicked a couple more a little further down the road. Because I had my end goal in mind, I was able to prioritize and cut wisely. I also came out of the week with a great story with which to begin the planning workshop later this week.

At  another planning event, this one a month back, the board chair began the day with words from the book of James. “You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that’” (4: 14-15). He went there not to discredit the work into which we were about to plunge, but rather to remind us of the One for whom and to whom our plans were directed.

I’ll carry this message with me to the board with which I will work over the next few days. Or at least that’s my plan. If the Lord wills, I am ready, prepared, and set to go do this or that. And should I not get it all done, God will understand.

For more on the topic of strategic planning, see:

Cadence, the 20 Mile March, and God’s abundance

The role of edgy questions in strategic planning

Finding your organization’s future in its past

What's your take on this topic?

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