Yesterday before I went to bed I came up with a plan for how my day would go today. I am a planner, a scheduler. I’m a list person. Everything has to be planned to a T. I have to know exactly what’s going to happen every hour of the day. So today I woke up at 7am, aiming to leave by 7:40 so that I could get to my class by 8am and start working on things 30 minutes early. As I was heading out the door, I stopped for a cup of coffee from our Keurig coffee maker. I pressed the wrong button. It took a total of 5 minutes before I got it working again and could get my coffee. At this point (having only had 3 minutes before my coffee troubles) I realized I wouldn’t be to class by 8.
I got in my car, beginning to get angry and stressed about my plans having been ruined before they even started. Once I got to the highway, I read a sign that said, “Crash 2 miles ahead. Left lane closed.” I was in the middle lane, so I figured that traffic might slow down but it wouldn’t be by much and I could still make it to class by 8:10 or so. Well, that wasn’t the case. For a period of about 10 minutes, I was going 20mph down the freeway stuck behind a huge van so that I couldn’t see ahead of me. I kept thinking, “What is this moron doing? Why are we going 20mph on the highway? This is ridiculous!” Then as we pulled forward more, I saw the accident. One car was completely totaled, and the other had the front end smashed in. My immediate thought was, “That could have been me if I was on time.” I said a prayer for those involved, and continued driving.
Once I got to the college, I could not find a parking space since I was late and all of the spaces I usually take were taken. There was one open that I could fit into, and I took it, but I was now going to be about a minute late to class by the time I got up all those stairs. At this point, I was becoming emotional and stressed. I thought, “God, why can’t I do anything right? Why must everything I do fail?” I went in to class, planning to stay there until I was completely done with the 6 sub-sections that I needed to do. One section ended up taking me one and a half hours. I was so disappointed that I wasn’t working fast enough, that I left. I had other things to do this morning. Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs outside my class, I realized that I didn’t have the right website to find out which classes I’d need next semester. Even more frustrated, I went to the counseling desks to try to get the website. They gave me 2 of the wrong ones. I left in even more of a panic. How was I supposed to register for classes now? Again, I thought, “God, why? Why can’t I do this? I have a to-do list that just keeps getting longer, please help me.”
It was then, on my way back home, that a small revelation hit me: obsessive planning the way I do things is not dying to yourself. It’s living for yourself. No matter your intentions, reasons, or motivations, by planning obsessively, you are saying, “God I don’t trust You in this area. I need to be You here.” I will get done what God wants me to get done and in His timing, not mine. His plans are not my plans, and He will guide me according to His plans, and not mine. He is not merely a way to accomplish my own self-centered hopes and dreams. That’s selfish and unbiblical to think that God will simply help us with whatever we want, whenever we want. He’s the God of the universe and our Lord. The name “Lord” means He reigns, not us. Our whole purpose in being here is to glorify Him, and until we’re doing that, we will be frustrated by unaccomplished plans.