Some people are natural planners, while others are comfortable living life more spontaneously. I have heard both types of people claim that their way is best, and I always disagree. Like most things, a balance is needed. Frankly, I love to plan but life doesn’t always cooperate. Of course, some things won’t get done without at least a little bit of forethought.

Things Won’t Go As You Planned

Let’s start with Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will.

Now let’s look at Murphy’s Law, Section 2038, Postulate 12: Anything that can go wrong for Brandon, will.

It’s a fact I’ve learned to live with. I just can’t seem to get the universe to go along with my plans. Even when I consider every possible variable, it just doesn’t seem to work as expected.

Chances are very good that the universe will deal with you in a similar manner. The weather will be wrong, your car won’t start, your parents won’t buy it, your friends will be busy, or any of a gazillion other factors just won’t cooperate.

So what do you do? Easy.

You ad-lib. You improvise. You play it by ear. You fake it till you make. You go with the flow. You do whatever it takes (within reason) to make do.

You don’t quit. You don’t stop. You don’t throw in the towel or in any other way give up. When your plans don’t work, adjust them or scrap them – be spontaneous. Pray a little, make a decision, and get on with things!

There are Reasons to Plan

So why do I bother to plan anything at all? If the universe won’t get with the program, why do I waste my time?

Well, first of all, planning is not a waste of time because when we plan, we have to really take a close look at what we hope to accomplish. We become familiar with the variables, possible outcomes, and different ways of addressing the situation. Even if things don’t go the way we would like, the fact is that we have looked at many other possibilities and are much better able to make changes on the fly.

Second, there are many things that really should be planned. Take college, for instance. Do you really think you can get into the college of your choice without doing a bit of preparation? Depending upon the college you plan on attending, you might be able to wait until the last minute, but I wouldn’t advise it in any situation. You need to apply, enroll in classes, purchase your books, perhaps line-up housing and transportation, and the list goes on.

Long-term goals and complex tasks, by their nature, are best tackled with a well-thought plan in hand.

God Has a Plan

In my humble opinion, plans are very worthwhile – for they prepare us for the task we hope to accomplish. And as motivational speaker Earl Nightingale always said, “Success is what happens when opportunity meets preparedness.”

So to be successful – in faith, family, friendship, love, health, or work – we should start with a few good plans. Yet I believe it’s important to remember that success is not measured by how well we stuck to the plan, but by the final outcome. In fact, if we had the knowledge and ability to effectively adjust our plan in mid-stride, then I believe it is all the more reason to celebrate!

And at the end of the day, when all is said and done, remember one thing as we rest our weary heads: God has a plan, and everything happened according to it, even though it may felt like we just tried to make-do.

Life Applications:

Why do you consider yourself a planner or an ad-libber?
What goals have you set for yourself, and how have you planned to achieve them?
What goes through your mind when you hear references to God’s plan?

Copyright 2002-2017 by Brandon Jubar
All rights reserved.

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