Monday, November 22, 2004

A Plan to Fail

I've heard it said by numerous so called successful people, "To fail to plan is a plan to fail." To some point, I agree. But isn't it also true that if you plan to succeed, you may still fail. Let's look from God's perspective. Do you really think Job made plans for his future? He was more righteous than any other man on earth, so I'm sure he would have made plans. What about Solomon? Yeah, the richest, wisest man that ever lived, but didn't he ultimately fail? OK, Moses. Deliverer of God's chosen people. Did he plan to enter the promise land? Oops, didn't make it. What about Saul? Did he plan his kingdom? Did he fail? Here's my point. Planing is not the sure fire answer to the human condition. I can plan and still fail. Who do I blame? Myself? Sometimes. God? Sometimes. People in general? Sometimes. Planning is important but needs to have some understanding behind it. If we are planning for our plans, goals, measure of success and dreams, we can gaurentee something will most likely mess it up. Is planning important? Yes, but can I measure success by the lack of failure? I think not. Is failure always bad? When trying to choose which of the 3 backpacks have a parachute and which have sleeping bags while the plain is 5000 feet from plummiting to the earth, failure is bad. When leaving youth ministry to pastor just because God told you too (and being SURE of the call) then having to take on a second job, put your family through hell, and leave after a year and a half, is it failure? Is it bad? One more. Going to a church as YM where the kids can't stand you and don't even vote during the call, while your wife is crying, saying, "How can you take me there" all because of the call. It gets worse. Not selling your house in the previous town, your wife going through the most severe depressive state of her mental illness in years, living in a 10 by 10 bedroom at your parents house... Is this failure? Did we plan for this? I'm a sorry planner. I do listen to God's leading and prompting. I do things that may seem illogical to most and I may even do things without the full consent of my wife (even though she has awesome character by following me even when she didn't want to). They may seem bad, but God works it out. I planned all this stuff, and I believe in some instances, I was set up to fail. Why? So God could teach me. To some, this is heresy. I can assure you I know A LOT about pastoral authority. I learned it by being a pastor and having a staff member stab me in the back. I also learned it through scripture and God's leading in my life. I later learned the lesson of Jonah. I could NOT deny his call to my current church without repercussions. I came no matter what I wanted. Was it bad? You better believe it. Is it still bad? Sometimes. Is it getting better? I think so. I see kids learning and living Godliness. I see them accepting people different than themselves. I see them getting sickened by their own sin and repenting before God. I see them holding each other accoutable. I see them learning how to live worship instead of just raising their hands during songs. I see them asking questions about relationships and setting standards for dating, drinking and partying. I see my wife struggle but become more beautiful with God's love everyday. Bottom line. I planned and I failed. Failure was needed for me. I never knew how good "good" could be until I saw "BAD." Thanks, God, for letting me fail and forgive me for not being willing to let you change the plan.

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