Moses asked the same question! In Ex 33:13 Moses asked God straight up “show me your plans so that I may know you and continue to please you.” In the verse just before this Moses recounts to God, “You have told me to lead these people, but you did not say whom you would send with me. You have said to me, ‘I know you very well, and I am pleased with you.’” and then he goes on to try to strong arm God by saying “ If I have truly pleased you, show me your plans…” So, here we have a true man God has chosen and called to literally deliver a nation, but he is not sure of his next moves. It’s comforting to me, but a little disturbing as well. If God calls us to do things why doesn’t he just spell out how to do it?
I think the answer is foreshadowed in the pillar of fire that led the Israelites by night and the cloud that led them during the day. I have thought about this at length and I don’t know about you but I know for myself that if God spelled out a five year plan for me I would work very hard at doing exactly what He said, but I might not check back in with God for another five years! I’m sad to admit that, but the fact is that it would be easy for me to get project focused and lose connection with the Project Manager!
On the converse side when we don’t have a five year plan it can be paralyzing not to know what to do next. All too often the fear of messing up keeps us from trying anything at all. What if He wants to be with us more than He wants us to “get it right”? What if getting it right is doing whatever we do with Him, for His glory, even if the outcome is not what we were hoping for?
People talk about being okay with messing up but you don’t hear a lot of people talking about what they messed up with and how they walked it out so here goes. As you may know I recently promoted an all-day Personality Type workshop. I was so pumped! I felt like I had crossed all my t’s and dotted all my i’s – there was genuine interest, I had a good plan for interactive personal awareness development, talked to significant people in my life and covered the details. Yet when the week of the workshop came around I had only one actual registrant. As the week progressed the number bumped up a little bit, but there came a point where I felt like I needed to call it. You just can’t break into small groups of like personalities and do activities if there are not enough people to have all the groups represented….<sigh>
What did I do wrong? Well, I’m working on a list and it includes things like planning an all-day event in Rochester on a Saturday in the summer, and some promo blunders, but I am more interested in sharing what I think I did right. I tried something. I walked through calling it off. And I am mining it for meaning – looking for what God is saying and what I will do differently next time. I am guarding my heart so I am not angry with God or anyone else that this didn’t work out. I am at peace in the midst of what could be frustrating at the best or humiliating at the worst. I am walking with the Program Manager instead of focusing on the program itself.
So, if you were planning to be a walk-in on Saturday consider that day freed up for other ventures. And don’t worry about me. I walked forward, learned some stuff and will walk forward again with sweet lessons learned and my Project Manager helping me learn to hear His voice more clearly.
What about you? Anything you need to just call? Or maybe you need to go for it and try something? Wherever you are at, you can be assured that God wants to walk with you. He longs to be near you by day and by night leading you onward step by step!