In my teenage years, I enjoyed many outward successes in sports, academics, and with peers. Unfortunately, peace was often elusive inside, and I really struggled with feeling out of control on many occasions. One of my favorite and frequent activities was sitting down and making a plan for the next 5 years of my life, one year at a time.
This planning behavior, this “soothing activity,” was my attempt to take advantage of the false belief that an orderly life on the outside would bring order to the inside of my heart. Also, with all that ordering of my outside world, my future, and my path, I thought I could plan my way to peace. I was being a “Martha” (Luke 10: 38-42) and was too busy doing.
It took me a while to learn an important truth about my brain, actually every brain. And it didn’t happen in college as a biomedical engineer, or in medical school, or even in psychiatric residency training. Actually, the Bible taught me that God did not design the human mind to figure out or plan the future, for this is clearly beyond our capability.
He did craft our minds with to engage in continual communication with Him. You won’t find peace by engaging in excessive planning and “doing”, as these are futile attempts to control what will happen to you in the future. This is not the path to peace. Look how many people get divorced, switch colleges, default on mortgage or declare bankruptcy. Planning and getting don’t guarantee peace. In fact, excessive planning and doing is actually an often-practiced form of unbelief.
Today, bring all your needs, hopes, and fears to Your Lord and God. Commit everything into His care. When uneasy, instead of planning, stop, look around at creation and your life and enjoy the moment … bask in God’s blessings, love, and amazing grace. Remember, He promises to comfort you and bring peace. But you need to look for it in the right places because it really is there. Turn from the path of planning and doing to the path of accepting the present and peace. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father God, My mind spins with multiple plans. I spend so much time planning because I think it is the pathway to peace. And just when peace appears to be within my reach, it somehow eludes me. Just when I think I have prepared for all possibilities, and covered all my bases, a meteor strikes my life and once again pushes peace beyond my grasp throwing me into another state of confusion. Help me, Father, to stop this wasted effort. I bring to You today all my issues, needs, and insecurities … I release them into Your care. For I know this is the true pathway to peace. Help me, Father, to find the next step, and the next, on this pathway of Stepping Stones. I pray to You Father in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.