My Plan vs. God's Plan

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My Plan vs. God's Plan

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"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

My career exploration teacher posed this question in my first year of high school to help students plan to be where they needed to be when they graduated. It got me started making my personal four-year plan.

Looking back after graduation, my plan didn't even hint that I would be taking advertising courses in college. My goals had changed as I matured and gained more details about potential careers. I soon realized that using creativity and spontaneity is frowned upon as a pharmacist, my former career choice.

Opportunity planning

So how can we be confident that our career plans are in harmony with God's desires for us?

Similar to my high school classes, I've found that I make plans on a daily basis about my future. I also discovered that my plans about relationships and occupations tended to be overly detailed and inflexible. A too rigid structure doesn't leave much room for God's intervention or guidance.

Anxiously awaiting the fulfillment of specific plans built a virtual wall of expectations that blinded me from seeing numerous opportunities. The usual track of high school, college and job search didn't allow me to take advantage of some important opportunities—like attending Ambassador Bible Center or serving at overseas youth camps.

Anxiety avoidance

I soon became anxious to deviate from this typical course. However, the Bible teaches the ideal way to change: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6).

These requests—or goals—help us to set standards to stay on track and achieve our hopes. When our standards are God's standards, our goals help us become more like Him.

Likewise these better goals allow for God's intervention, if we are praying to let His will be done. He always knows the best path, so who better to ask than Him? God can guide our lives during times of uncertainty and direct our daily decisions according to His plan for us.

God's better plan

As much as my four-year plan attempted to scope out my classes, it ultimately failed due to uninformed decisions that I made as a high school freshman. Adjusting my study plan when I better understood my preferences and talents helped me make the most out of my high school experience.

It would have been much simpler to have had a reliable source of information and insight from the start. God doesn't give us a complete educational and career plan, of course, but He does give you and me an inside look into our futures if we actively seek His guidance.

What better advice than "trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6)?

For more information about developing your plans with God's plans for you, read "How to Plan Your Life." VT