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Planning Ahead

I came across these challenging words recently:

I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change. John Rohn

The opportunity to even plan a vacation belongs only to a privileged few of us in the world scheme of things. For many mere existence is the name of the game – the mundane defines everything in their fight for survival. Yet, paradoxically those of us, mostly in the developed world, have to fight off boredom and purposelessness. To be sure we may be frantically bored or boringly bored but the sense of purpose just isn’t there.

If we know where we are going we can plan to get there. What we are looking forward to will determine how we can live in the present.

Billy Graham once remarked that “a person is not ready to live until they are ready to die.” Confidence of eternal life that is well grounded in Christ will lead to real confidence in life. Not only will future joys be anticipated but they will become a part of our experience now. Take, for example, the experience of God the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell in our hearts when we turn to Jesus. This wonderful experience, an anticipation of the future in God’s presence, will keep us from seeking our satisfaction in the short term escapades of alcoholic spirits or substance abuse.

Change is never easy but it is far easier than the consequences of leaving God out of our lives. Far from being escapism the embracing of God’s plan for ourselves always leads to freedom.

Martin Luther expressed it paradoxically when he said that we should “love God and do as we please.” When God’s love grips us we will only be pleased to do what He is pleased with. And what He is pleased with can be guaranteed to bring us real pleasure and others real good.