When I was growing up, my dream was to become a professional athlete. Like many boys, I loved sports and thought it would be a great way to make a living so I set in place a plan that I naively thought would earn me a place in the NBA. Having set in place a plan, I then went to work. Thankfully, this dream did not last very long as I soon realized I had neither the size, talent, drive, or even the opportunities that were needed to make it happen.
A couple months ago, I imagined what my life would be like if my original script had actually come to fruition. As you know, professional athletes these days are rich and famous, but sports insiders tell us that it is not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not the great lifestyle that many think it is. If I would have journeyed down this career path as I had scripted it in my mind, I would have missed out on a whole lot. Pondering this made me truly grateful that God has directed my life such as He has.
Think back to your grade school days. Perhaps you didn’t entertain notions of becoming a professional athlete, but you probably did set in place some goals and dreams for your life. My guess is that things have not worked out entirely the way you originally scripted it. I want to suggest to you that’s a good thing. As I have come to realize, God’s plan is so much bigger and better than my plan. As Proverbs 16:9 puts it, “the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord established his steps.” We all make plans, but it is ultimately God’s will that prevails. If someone had told me back in 2001 (when I graduated from high school) what the next 13 years of my life would look like, I would have never believed them – never in a million years. But God knew and God went about accomplishing His plan for my life and I stand in awe of what He has done. As the Psalmist tells us, “in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16).
Now reader, don’t hear me wrong. I am not saying you should stop dreaming and planning. God can and does use those dreams for His purposes. What I am suggesting, however, is that you rejoice in God’s amazing work in your life. Perhaps the following will help guide your thought process:
- Rejoice in the fact that God has placed you exactly where He wants you to be.
- Rejoice in all the opportunities that await you as a Christian.
- Thank God for the job and talents He has given you.
- Thank God for how He has protected you over the years.
- Rejoice in the family that God has given you.
That’s just a little primer to get you started in a fun little activity. As I think about these, it makes me so grateful for my wonderful wife, my kids, and the call the God has placed upon my life as a pastor. God has been good to me and I know He has been good to you too! We don’t know what awaits us in the coming years, but if you are walking with the Lord, then you can know that His plan is above and beyond anything you “ask for or think” (Ephesians 3:20). God’s script is much better than my script or your script and we can rest in that truth. And may it be said of us, like King David, that we “served the purposes of God” in our own generation (Acts 13:36).