If The Lord Wills...

James 4: 13-15 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."

I’m in planning mode. One of my main activities each summer is writing goals, schedules, course outlines, and lesson plans in order to lay the foundation for the coming school year. I’ve just finished the grading, transcript preparing, and other recordkeeping from the past year (not so fun) and have moved on to full-scale lesson planning for next year (much more fun.)

There’s always an excitement during the planning stage. Each year I do at least some things differently, purchase some new curricula, try some new strategies. I love to search for excellent resources and pull together books to work to teach the goals for that year.

Each week I have different tasks that must be accomplished for the overall job to be done by the middle of August. A master summer schedule mapped out on graph paper helps me keep on track. The more thorough my job now, the easier things will go during the school year. So I keep slogging away, writing goals, determining grading standards, developing schedules, choosing good books and compiling resources, selecting Scripture and poetry to memorize, making umpteen lists, crafting visual aids, and preparing hands-on projects.

But here’s the rub. As much as I like to be in control by having a well planned schedule and lessons, life will happen around us. Oftentimes my lesson plans will make it easier for us to continue when life throws a curve ball, but sometimes we will have to instead toss the plans into the air. Like this year, one day I woke up expecting just another routine day, and found my child had developed a severe infection which ultimately resulted in a few days spent at the hospital. That week suddenly rocketed far from the “plan”! Or the disruption may be more long-lasting and severe. (Like the year Ben was born. But that’s another and more involved story.)

Long ago my husband labeled me a “control freak.” Through the years I have been working on letting go of this tendency and becoming more willing to accept things as they come. Yes, having well crafted lesson plans is good, necessary even for things to work well in our household. But so is a willingness to acknowledge that the Lord is the One who truly knows what the best lessons will be for our family, and I need the flexibility to welcome each interruption from my plan as His best for us.

Proverbs 16:9 The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.


Tresa said…
Great devotion! I am also a teacher and a control freak. Its hard to let God have control of our time but we are always blessed for doing so!

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