When was the last time you stepped onto a scale and realized you had accidentally lost twenty-five pounds? Or heard of someone who accidentally quit smoking? Maybe you accidentally earned a college degree?
Of course not. Those ideas are absurd. Because we understand that those things take planning. You don’t accidentally lose twenty five pounds (don’t we wish that was the case!). It requires intentional planning and commitment. You have to exercise daily and change your eating habits.
But for some reason, we totally abandon this logic when it comes to the most important areas of our lives. We are not foolish enough to think that hoping we will lose weight will make it happen. But at the same time we entertain thoughts such as, “I hope my kids turn out okay” or “I hope I can retire at a decent age” or even “I hope I’m ready to meet God!”
There are two categories of things in our lives- things we can change, and things we can’t. Here’s the problem: we spend our time trying to change the things we can’t and merely hoping to change the things we can. (Go back and read those last two sentences again- they will change your life.)
Your chances of accidentally developing a great prayer life are about the same as accidentally losing twenty five pounds by next Thursday. And if you think you’re accidentally going to develop a thorough knowledge of the Bible, well, you might as well be planning on accidentally becoming a rocket scientist.
In Luke 12, Jesus defined an individual as foolish (aka stupid) if they start building without a plan. His point? Great desires and ambitions are worthless and dangerous if you don’t have the plan and resources to go with them.
Great things aren’t accomplished by accident. If you’re going to accomplish anything in life, you have to have a plan.
So stop hoping and start planning. Here are the four steps you need to take:
1. Identify your goals (example: raising Godly children)
2. Count the cost (What will I have to sacrifice?)
3. Develop a plan (What specific actions need to be taken?)
4. Stick with it (When the initial momentum fades, hang in there)
So what about you? What areas of your life are you merely hoping will turn out good? Comments